Veno Marioghae to sue Airtel for copyright infringement
Oviri Kelvin, Abuja
Legendary music icon, Veno Marioghae Mbanefo, is set to drag telecommunications giant, Airtel Nigeria, to the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, over the infringement of one of her copyrighted artistic properties.
Veno, set to file a civil suit, on Friday, September 23, 2022, through her lawyer and renowned intellectual property guru, Barr Igelige Rockson, said she noticed few months ago that her song, ”Nigeria Go Survive”, was being used by Airtel Nigeria, without formal approval, to make money from its subscribers.
According to the legendary singer, after getting wind of the act perpetrated by Airtel Nigeria, she wrote through Barr Igelige to notify them but met stiff resistance coupled with threats of legal action from the telecommunications giant.
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Veno added that what she expected of Airtel Nigeria was to look into her claims but met the shocker of an outright denial, adding that she was also defamed in the process.
In a statement, the legendary music icon said, “Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, I, Veno Marioghae Mbanefo, found out a few months ago, that Airtel had been using my song, “Nigeria Go Survive,” to market their products, using their telemarketing numbers, without my permission.
“Following the discovery, I contacted my lawyer, Rockson Igelige of Felix, Igelige and Associates, who promptly wrote to them. Rather than look into our authentic claim, they responded by not only denying all culpability but also defamed me and threatened criminal charges against me,” she lamented.
However, with the ill-treatment meted on her person, she resolved to legal action through her counsel after undertaking a thorough investigation to back her claims with hardcore evidence against Airtel Nigeria.
“We then took our case, backed by our witnesses, IT & Evaluation Specialist and evidence, to the Nigeria Copyright Commission which began an investigation into our claim.”
Although the criminal investigation against the telecommunication giant is yet to be concluded, the legendary music icon alongside her legal counsel, Barr Igelige have concluded to file a civil suit before the Federal High Court, on Friday, 23 September, 2022.
Veno added, “While the criminal investigation into our claim is still on, my lawyers and I are, however, filing a civil suit against Airtel on 23/9/22 at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos to show how they have flagrantly not only infringed on my copyright by using my song without permission but have also brazenly denied all responsibility, despite all evidence.”
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