Lawyer Lands in Trouble as Court Dismisses COSON’s Suit Against MCSN

Ladipo Sanusi/

A judge of the Federal High Court in Lagos has vowed to ensure that a lawyer, Romeo Eze Michael, faces disciplinary action over gross abuse of court process.

Justice Ibrahim made this known today while delivering judgment in the legal tussle between the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN) over the right of the latter to act as a Collective Management Organisation (CMO) for musical works and sound recordings in Nigeria.

Although Justice Buba delivered judgment in favour of Michael’s client, the MCSN, he insisted that he would lodge a complaint with the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) against the lawyer.

The judge was piqued by an earlier application filed by Michael seeking to stall the judgment.

Justice Buba eventually ruled against the motion, describing it as a ploy by Michael to arrest the day’s business.

In dismissing the suit filed by COSON challenging MCSN’s eligibility, Justice Buba held that both bodies have same rights to operate as a Collective Management Organisation.

Justice Buba further held that MCSN was validly authorised by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to collect royalties on behalf of artistes.

The judge also ruled that contrary to COSON’s claim, NCC is authorised to approve more than one CMO to collect royalties for artistes.

Justice Buba also held that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), acted lawfully in directing NCC to withdraw the cases it filed against the MCSN.

He consequently dismissed COSON’s entire suit against first defendant, MCSN; second defendant, NCC and third defendant, the AGF for want of merit.

COSON filed the suit marked FHC/L/CS/1259/2017 last April seeking a declaration that NCC failed to comply with Section 39(2) (d) of the Copyright Act 2004 and Copyright (CMO) Regulations 2007 when it registered MCSN.

It prayed the court to hold that the registration was thus “void ab initio and of no effect whatsoever.”

It also sought, among others, a perpetual injunction restraining NCC from approving MCSN as a CMO.

These claims were however opposed by the defendants.