Legendary singer, Veno Mariogahae-Mbanefo, has filed a N350 million suit against telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria, for copyright infringement at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi.
Veno resolved with her lawyer and intellectual property expert, Barr Rockson Igelige, to file a lawsuit at the Federal High Court after Airtel Nigeria denied culpability of using one of her songs to make money from its subscribers without her consent.
In Suit No: FHC/L/C/1822/2022, Barr Igelige of Felix, Igelige and Associates, filed a lawsuit in the Federal High Court on Friday, September 23, 2022, to challenge Airtel Nigeria for breaching the copyright Act.
The legendary music icon confirmed this development to The Trumpet through an interview.
“I am Veno Marioghae-Mbanefo. My lawyers and I have just filed a case of copyright infringement against Airtel for unauthorised use of my song ‘Nigeria go Survive’ and as you can see, I am at the premises of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi,” she told The Trumpet.
Prior to the suit, Veno had contacted Airtel Nigeria to notify them of infringing on her copyrighted property after she became aware that the telecommunications giant was using her song to make money from its subscribers without formal approval.
Moreover, she said rather than Airtel Nigeria to find a common ground when she informed them of infringing on her copyrighted property, the telecommunications giant did not only refute her claims but allegedly threatened to charge her with a criminal offence.
In the N350 million suit, Veno prays the court awards N200 million as general damages against Airtel and N50 million as damages for alleged violation of her statutory right under Section 12 of the Copyright Act of 2004.
She also prays the court awards an additional N100 million against Airtel Nigeria as aggravated damages for alleged infringement of her copyright.