A Nigerian songwriter, Ewaoluwa Olatunji Nicole has dragged popular movie star, Funke Akindele, Apple Inc, Bello Abdulrasheed, also known as JJC to court over alleged copyright infringement on two songs, Bhad Gyal and opoor, which featured in the movie “she must be obeyed”
Nicole, through her lawyer, Mr Adewale Williams, filed the suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos State.
Also joined in the suit as defendants are; Amazon web Inc., Transsnet music Nigeria Ltd among others.
Nicole, who goes by the stage name Ewa Cole aka “Queen of Afro-Solk”, is a Guinness World record holder for the longest marathon singing Christmas songs.
In the suit, Nicole claimed to be the owner, author and creator of the songs “Bhad Gyal” and “Opoor” which were reproduced by Akindele in her musical drama “she must be obeyed.”
She told the court that, “Sometime in June 2021, our client was contacted by one Mr Fony a.k.a Tony Age to produce soundtracks for the movie “She Must Be Obeyed” series being produced by Scene One production, Funke Akindele and her crew at that material time. The movie starred several celebrities like Veeiye (as Tito); Waje (as X-cite); Shaffy Belfo as Iya Siyanbola, amongst others.
“Our brief revealed that after writing and recording the two songs, “Bhad Gyal” and “OPOOR” in a music studio with the aid of Mr. Tony a.k.a Tony Age (who was working with the “She Muse Be Obeyed” crew as that time), she handed over the tracks to him with the understanding that Funke Akindele and her crew would reach out to her for payments and recognition.
“After weeks of waiting, our client received the sad news that her songs had been rejected and would no longer be deployed in the production of the series only for our client to shockingly discover thereafter that she has been lied to and scammed, and that her songs were in fact reproduced by Waje and Veeiye and deployed for the production of the said movie without our client’s permission or approval or any credit to her. As a matter of fact, the “Bhad Gyal’ song was mimed by Waje while on stage in the movie, whilst the OPOOR song ran through the background of the entirety of the series.
“The “She Must Be Obeyed” series released in September, 2023 and premiered by Amazon Prime Video is now been watched round the globe and generating several revenues for Amazon, Apple Music, BoomPlay, Funke Akindele and her crew without even the lease recognition of Our Client as the author of chose songs.”
Nicole, sought among other reliefs a payment of N300 million in compensation for the infringement of her copyright.
She also asked that the court grants a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further copyrighting, performing or reproducing her musical works.
The Claimant also seek an order of court directing the defendants to share 45 percent of the profits made in the use, performance, reproducing and distribution of “Bald Gyal” and “Opoor.”