The year 2018 was filled with lots of legal entertainment brouhaha and mostly because many artistes and entertainers are now aware of their rights.

Though, some of these claims have no legal issues at all but we think it is more important that entertainers are now aware that they can protect their rights.

  1. Danny Young & Tiwa Savage: This matter happened November/December 2018, when Danny Young made accusations saying that Tiwa used a line he used in his song (Oju Tiwon) https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqh2O0dFzq4/

Naturally, It raised a lot of controversy and legal opinions – If a listener familiar with Danny’s track listens to Tiwa’s, will they find substantial similarities in the two songs?⁣⁣ Secondly, Is the phrase (a Yoruba proverb none of them can lay claim to) and use of melody enough to ground a suit? ⁣⁣He however went ahead to get the services of Justice Ige, Creative Legal for legal representation in the matter. The matter is yet to be heard.

Tiwa Savage

2. Folarin Falana (FALZ) & Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation: In 2018, Falz released his own version, of Childish Gambino’s song This is America”, and named his ‘This is Nigeria’. The award-winning music act filed the court documents through his lawyers, Adepetun Caxton-Martins Agbor & Segun (ACAS-Law), on November 6, 2018, three months after the NBC sent a letter to JODAJ Global Communications Limited in Jos sanctioning them for playing the said song and banning it from being played on radio, along with other songs.

In the letter sent to JODAJ Global Communications Limited, NBC stated that the reason for banning “This Is Nigeria” is that the lyrics are vulgar and in contravention of Section 3.6.1 of the NBC Code. The line in question being ‘This is Nigeria, look how we living now, everybody be criminal’. A lot of Nigerians, including celebrities, disapproved the ban by the NBC for it being unreasonable, but the ban was upheld.

3. Daniel Olukoya & Sahara Reporters: We reported this story http://legalbants.com/mfm-founder-daniel-olukoya-files-n10bn-lawsuit-against-yele-sowore-sahara-reporters/

In summary:
The General Overseer, Mountain of Fire & Miracles, Dr. Daniel Olukoya filed a libel suit against Yele Sowore, his online platform, Sahara Reporters Incorporated and the Incorporated Trustees of Sahara Media Foundation demanding N10BN in damages for publishing malicious and false articles against him and his church, MFM since 2013. He also asked that all stories be pulled down, retracted with a written apology in at least three national dailies. The suit marked HU/250/2018 lists the Incorporated Trustees of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries as the first claimant and Pastor Olukoya as the second claimant. The last that we know, the matter is still in court.

Runtown, Nigeria

4. Runtown V Eric Manny: Nigerian singer and “Mad over you” crooner, Douglas Jack-Agu, popularly known as Runtown, was again dragged to court by his estranged record label, Eric Manny. In this case of contempt of court, coming right after the singer released a new song against a court order restraining him from performing or releasing any song until the pre-existing issue is sorted out. First, Runtown also known as the soundgod, who left Eric Manny record label early 2018, was dragged to court by the label over breach of contract. Eric Manny had slammed a Federal High Court injunction on him, restraining him from performing and recording till he settles his debt with the label. While the case had been ongoing, the court ordered the singer to hold off performance or recording songs until the case is sorted out but, Runtown did not follow the instructions. He recently released a new song thus leading to yet another lawsuit. More Runtown lawsuits in 2019.

Yinka Ayefele, Nigeria

5. Yinka Ayefele & Oyo State Government: You can read the full story here http://legalbants.com/music-yinka-ayefeles-studio-demolished/ 

On 19th August 2018, the Oyo state government demolished the Studio which housed, Fresh FM (a leading radio station in the State) that belonged to gospel music artist crooner, Yinka Ayefele. It must also be noted that there was a subsisting court injunction restraining the government from demolishing the property. Despite the pending court order the State government went ahead with planned demolition at 5.30am on sunday, putting a stop to the radio station’s activities. Thankfully, we think this matter is over as the Governor kept his promise by building another Studio for the gospel musician https://www.instagram.com/p/BsXPPatlvTy/. This means that the matter is over now.

6. Zinni Media & Floyd Mayweather: Undefeated American boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr, was accused of fraud by a Nigerian company Zinni Media. The Media company claimed they had an agreement with the 41year-old to make five appearances in Nigeria and Ghana in June 2017. However, since the deal failed to pull through, they have slammed at least $2 million in damages in a lawsuit on the former boxer turned boxing promoter. The media company was said to have paid $210,000 of the $375,000 they agreed after confirming in a video he would make the appearance. After the initial deal failed, Zinni Media revealed they had another agreement with Mayweather to reschedule the appearances for December 2017 at a cost of $550,000. Meanwhile, Zinni Media have filed a lawsuit against the former boxer at federal court in California. They are suing for damaging their reputations by breaching their contract and the other is the money he allegedly took without returning.

7. Samsung & Eagle Eye: An infringement suit for N65,000,000 (Sixty Five Million Naira), before Justice Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting at Ikoyi Lagos, between Samsung Electronics West Africa Limited (“Samsung”) and Ringier Media Nigeria Limited (“Ringier Media”) by Eagle Production limited (“Eagle Eye”). The Abuja based production company, “Eagle Eye” claimed that, Samsung and Ringier used it’s aerial night view video of the Lekki Ikoyi link bridge named “Lekki Ikoyi link bridge at night”,in their Galaxy Note 8 advert, without legal consent or permission. Samsung had claimed that it had no knowledge whatsoever of the process involved in creating the advert as it outsourced the job to one Cheil Communications Nigeria Limited. Cheil in turn said it contracted the project out to Ringier Media. The matter has encountered adjournments and the last we heard of it was that it was adjourned till October 11 for mention.

8. Blackface & Wizkid, Banky W: In August 2018, Nigerian singer and songwriter, Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo, popularly known by his music moniker, BlackfaceNaija has sued Wizkid and Banky W for intellectual property theft. The singer made the allegation public on his Instagram page. He is suing them for the song “slow whine” on Wizkid’s Debut album, Superstar. You can watch the both songs side by side here https://www.instagram.com/p/BmjRG8XH5y5/

Blackface Naija

9. Charles Oputa V Inspector General Of Police & FCT Commissioner Of Police:

A Federal High court had earlier ordered the Nigerian Police and the FCT commissioner of Police to pay a total of N50million to Charles Oputa (a.k.a Charly Boy). The sum serves as compensation for the attack on him during the #ResumeorResign protest. The Court ruled this unconstitutional, his Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong confirmed via tweet.

Did we leave anything out?

You could share with us the entertainment legal issues that made your 2018! It would be great to read your thoughts and comments!

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