The registered trustees of the Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) has threatened to commence a suit against the Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) and its executive director if it refuses to rescind on its decisions the group termed unlawful at a stakeholders meeting held in the last quarter of 2020.
This was contained in a statement written by SOA Attorneys, Solomon O. Edoh Esq. (solicitors of ANCOP) and addressed to the executive director of NFVCB demanding that within 14 days from the date of the receipt of the letter, the executive director NFVCB would immediately publish a notice renouncing the order calling for or mandating a compulsory re-registration of all already registered professional associations and guilds in Nollywood; directing all associations and guilds in Nollywood to remit to the NFVCB, 2.5% of the annual dues of their individual members; and it’s pronouncement that any member of any professional association or guild who is not financially up to date would be disallowed from presenting his film or video work for previewing or screening.
Part of the statement reads:
“At this juncture, we think it is important to draw your attention to the fact that under the NFVCB Act, neither you nor the NFVCB is empowered to raise or generate funds from associations and guilds under the pretext or guise of re-registration. Therefore the forced re-registration of the already duly registered professional associations and guilds operating within the Nigerian film and video industry on pain of sanctions is illegal and without any just basis.
Furthermore, it is important to note that neither the professional associations and guilds within Nollywood nor their individual members are responsible for funding the NFVCB. Therefore the decision of the NFVCB to impose an obligation on the various guilds and associations within Nollywood to deduct and remit 2.5% of the annual dues paid by their respective members is equally unlawful and is tantamount to the NFVCB attempting to direct and interfere with the internal operations and governance of independent professional associations and guilds and this is not in any way contemplated by the clear provisions of the NFVCB Act.
In addition to the foregoing, we also wish to use this medium to notify you that by the combined effect of the provision of Regulation 17(2) & (3) of the NFVCB Regulations, the eligibility for presentation of film or video work to the NFVCB for preview and registration, is by being a registered member of any of the professional associations or guilds operating in Nigeria’s film and video industry and proof of such membership is the presentation of the identity card of such a member.
It is our position that the manifest and undoubted legal implication of the provision of Regulation 17(2) & (3) of the NFVCB Regulations is that in the exercise of its powers and the discharge of its functions, the NFVCB deals with individual members of associations and guilds operating within the industry and not the associations and guilds themselves. It is individual members that present film and video works to the NFVCB for preview, censorship, classification and registration and not the associations and guilds themselves. Therefore attempting to raise funds from the various associations and guilds under the guise or pretext of conducting a re-registration and compelling or cajoling the various associations or guilds to remit a percentage of the annual dues paid by their members on pain of sanctions is highly unlawful.”