Thousands of congratulatory messages and commendations from every corner have continued to pour into COSON House, the magnificent headquarters in Ikeja of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization as the frontline music body celebrates its recent historic victories at the Federal High Court, first in Abuja and immediately after, in Lagos, over two of Nigeria’s biggest banks, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc, respectively.
Reacting to the court victories on Facebook, elder statesman of the music industry, Mr. Emma Ogosi, wrote, “this is highly commendable. Congrats COSON. Congrats Tony.”
Gospel music minister, Kenny Saint Brown, exclaimed, “we shall yet win on all sides at all fronts in Jesus’ name. We give God all the glory”.
From South Africa, Cynthia Erika hailed COSON with a big congratulatory message.
Dizzy K. Falola, Nigeria’s musical whiz kid of the 80s and 90s who is now a successful pastor in London sent this message from the U.K, “Hi big boss. You are blessed and highly favoured. Thanks for a great job of protecting the Nigeria creative efforts. God bless you immensely”
Vivacious singer and Queen of Love, Azeezat, wrote in from Canada saying “God be praised. He always stands by the truthful. Congratulations my people!”
From Enugu, music publisher, Angus Power Nwangwu, wrote “They shall continue to lose as they went to equity with dirty and filthy hands. COSON is working. Let the Music Pay!”
Reggae star, Righteousman wrote, “wow… wow… wow! Huge Congratulations. This is something to shout about.”
Thousands of musicians in Nigeria have taken to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms to toast and celebrate the massive victories over Access Bank and Stanbic IBTC Bank which they believe have unlawfully withheld royalties due to them at a time of serious financial distress in the country. They have also commended the Chairman of COSON, Chief Tony Okoroji, who has tirelessly and fearlessly led the fight against the banks.
It will be recalled that Justice A.R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on April 14 ordered the Inspector General of Police, the Department of State Services (DSS), the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Pretty Okafor, one Biodun Eguakhide and Stanbic IBTC Bank, whether by themselves or their officials, privies, servants, agents or howsoever called from in any way or manner harassing, disturbing, continuing to disturb or preventing, continuing to prevent COSON from lawfully enforcing the constitutional rights of its members, affiliates, assignees and reciprocal representation partners or interfering, continuing to interfere with the internal management, operations, funds of COSON or the bank accounts of any of the Plaintiffs or preventing, continuing to prevent COSON, its members, affiliates, assignees and reciprocal representation partners from earning income and sustaining themselves with their Intellectual Property, pending the determination of the motion for interlocutory injunction already filed and served in the suit.
The Judge also ordered Stanbic IBTC Bank to immediately unfreeze the corporate accounts of COSON and the personal accounts of Chief Tony Okoroji, chairman of COSON, frozen by the bank.
As if on cue, Justice Yellin S. Bogoro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, on May 4 ordered another big Nigerian Bank, Access Bank Plc to immediately unfreeze COSON Bank accounts at the bank and to pay COSON 70 million naira in damages for unlawful freezing of accounts.