Recent orchestrated attacks on the persons and reputation of board members of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) by Chief Tony Okoroji, his acolytes and agents have more than anything else, provided proof of a growing desperation to avoid probe, cover the truth and perpetuate the illusion of Tony’s purported reinstatement as chairman of the governing board of the COSON, the board has alleged.
In a release by the copyright board, it stated that the widely reported arrest of its substantive and duly elected chairman, Efe Omoregbe and Mr. Joel Ajayi are one of the many deplored by the aggrieved people to derail the direction of the society.
Find below the press release as signed by the board:
The widely reported arrest of our substantive and duly elected chairman Mr Efe Omorogbe and another Board member Mr Joel Ajayi and subsequent arraignment and bail on charges of impersonation, forgery, conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace and threat to life are the latest steps in a series of desperate and futile moves by Okoroji to harass, intimidate and coerce them into abdicating the leadership of the board, mislead the law enforcement agencies and the populace as a ploy for dumping the call for a full forensic audit of accounts and operations of COSON.
Following receipt of the directive of the industry regulator, Nigerian Copyright Commission in a letter dated February 19, 2017 declaring Okoroji’s reinstatement and sack of elected board members as null and void, the Board proceeded to act in substantive capacity and carried out the following actions:
1. A board meeting was called on March 6, 2018 at the COSON House wherein all 11 directors (including Tony Okoroji, John Uduegbunam, Azeezat Allen and Ras Kimono), management and the Nigeria Copyright Commission were duly notified. Okoroji and co absented themselves from the meeting and directed his agents to lock the other board members out. Having formed a quorum with 6 directors present, we proceeded with the meeting at the entrance of the locked office with representatives of the commission, an officer from the Public Complaint Bureau, Lagos Police Command and reporters all present.
– It is this meeting that has been fraudulently reported to the office of the IG as the mobilization of thugs to disrupt an Okoroji meeting with intent to cause a breach of public peace and threat to life!
2. We wrote to COSON bankers to formally communicate a directive from the duly elected board to stop honouring all cheques signed by Okoroji who has continued to parade himself as chairman along with others who may have been fraudulently listed as directors of COSON and on-boarded as signatories to the accounts.
– It is the attempt to halt Okoroji’s continued tampering with the society’s accounts to fund his attack on everyone who disagrees with him and sustain his dangerous defiance of the regulator’s directives that has been sold to the police as forgery and impersonation.
For the avoidance of doubt we members of Coson Board wish to use this medium to reiterate with emphasis that Tony Okoroji remains sacked and that Mr Efe Omorogbe remains chairman of the board of COSON. We will also like to assure members of the society and concerned members of the public that the phantom charges do not hold any water and that no amount of grandstanding, threat, attacks, intimidation, abuse of power or abuse of court processes will stop a full forensic audit of COSON account and operations. We will also like to assure Okoroji and everyone presently aiding his desperate attempts at avoiding a probe that we would not stop our campaign for a full forensic audit of COSON’S financial affairs until justice is not only done but is seen to have been manifestly done in this regard not only by the several hundreds of artistes whose sacred mandates we represent but also the members of the general public who must also insist that the music pays the rights owners and not a few desperate cabal and no matter how highly placed or connected.