COSON faction asks EFCC to probe Tony Okoroji

Tony Okoroji COSON

A faction of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe Tony Okoroji for the benefit of Nigerian artistes.

Okoroji leads a faction of COSON while Efe Omorogbe leads another faction made up of predominantly younger musicians.

The power tussle between Okoroji and Omoregbe for the position of chairman has lasted six months and it led to the suspension of the organisation’s operating licence.

In a statement issued on Wednesday at a stakeholder’s forum in Lagos, the Omoorogbe faction demanded action from the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), the Nigeria Police, and the EFCC, describing the situation as a matter of urgency.

“Okoroji’s access to, and abuse of funds belonging to members continue to embolden and empower him in the continued disregard for constituted authority, abuse of court processes, and war of attrition against perceived enemies,” the statement read.

“Stakeholders, therefore, call on the Nigeria Copyright Commission to rise up to the occasion and enforce compliance as a matter of urgency. We demand affirmative action now.

“Tony Okoroji has bluntly refused to accept the vote of no confidence passed by his colleagues on the board. He has refused to respond to the inquiry of key right owners.

“Tony has instead, maintained a stranglehold on the reins at COSON and launching a legal and media war against any and every dissenting voice using the apparatus and of course, funds of right owners whose royalties the directors are duty-bound to protect.”

COSON said Nigeria, which is a bigger music market, should be reporting larger figures than South Africa Music Rights Organisation and Music Copyright Society of Kenya, which reported $9.8 billion and $20 million in royalty earnings respectively.

Nigeria, it said, reported $1.17 million.