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King Sunny Ade Wins N500m Copyright Suit 30 Years Later
Views: 317  |  Comments: 0 |  Posted: 08:41 Fri, 13 Nov 2015
Photo Easyboy (¥ 21188 NU)
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Created Topics: 2107
Replies: 39
Posted on: 08:41 Fri, 13 Nov 2015

Thirty years after he instituted a suit
against African Songs and its
subsidiary, Take Your Choice Stores,
Juju maestro King Sunny Ade now
has cause to smile as he has been
awarded a whopping N500million as
damages, for infringing on his works
with additional cost of N3million for
prosecuting the suit.

According to a statement of claim
filed before the court by a Lagos
lawyer Chief Felix Fagbohungbe,SAN,
in 1975, a contract dispute arose
between King Suny Ade and the two
companies culminating in a
judgement delivered by Justice
Dosunmu of a Lagos High Court.

In the said judgement the court
ordered the companies to return the
master tapes of the original musical
works produced under the label of
the two companies by Sunny Ade,
but before the master tape could be
returned the chairman chief
Executive Office of the two
companies Chief Bolarinwa Abioro

Consequently,in a bid to retrieve the
master Tapes Sunny Ade in 1997
dragged the two companies before a
federal high court in Lagos.

Joined as co-defendants are; Lati
Alagbada,Record manufacturing
Nigeria Limited, Ibukunola Printers,
Alhaja Awawu Ade Amodu and M.O.
Alagbada, who he alleged have been
using the master tapes to produce
inferior qualities of his musical
works and sell them to members of
the public thereby depriving him of
his means of livelihood.

He contended that he was the
author,composer,and producer of all
the musical works numbering about

He therefore demanded for damages
in the sum of N1 Billion jointly and
severally and prayed the court to
order the two companies to return to
him his master tapes as well as
restraining the defendants from
infringing on his musical works.

In a defence and counter claim filed
by the two companies,they claimed
that since Sunny Ade has been paid
royalties by the companies he cannot
lay claim to the tapes again.

According to them, the contract he
signed with the two companies does
not include returning of the master
tapes to him. Consequently, they
urged the court to award N5million
against Suny Ade and in their

In his judgement,Justice James Tsoho
while dismissing the counter claim of
the two companies for lack of merit,
ordered the two companies to pay
Sunny Ade and his band the sum of

The judge also ordered that the
master tapes should be returned to
Sunny Ade since it has been proved
beyond reasonable doubt that he is
the owner of the copyright.

The claim against other defendants
were struck out on the ground that
not enough evidence were adduced
against them.

Based on the application made by
Barrister Yomi Adeniran from the
law firm of Felix Fagbohungbe SAN
asking for a sum of N5million as cost
of prosecuting this case as Sunny Ade
have always been coming to court
whenever the case was coming
up,Justice Tsoho awarded N3million
cost against the two companies.
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