Pretty Okafor the factional President of the Performing Musician Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) has revealed in a statement that a court order has been secured to freeze all bank accounts of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON).
According to Pretty Okafor, the recent move to freeze the accounts was in furtherance to the suspension of COSON’s operating license by the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC).
The PMAN honcho also added in the statement that court order to freeze the accounts was done in a bid to stop the illegal and unsupervised spending of monies belonging to rights owners by Chief Tony Okoroji and his illegally constituted board.
The statement by Pretty Okafor read thus in full; “The Performing Musician Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) will like to inform all its members, and all musical content owners in Nigeria, that in furtherance to the suspension of COSON’s operating license by the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), all COSON bank accounts have now been frozen.
“Working with key corporate members like Premier Music Publishing Company Limited and Ivory Music Limited, we have secured a court order to freeze the accounts in a bid to stop the illegal and unsupervised spending of monies belonging to rights owners by Chief Tony Okoroji and his illegally constituted board.
Read also: BATTLE FOR COSON: PMAN joins in
“This move has become necessary in consideration of the fact that Chief Okoroji has vehemently refused comply with the directives of the industry regulator, NCC and also accede to the demand for full forensic audit of the account and operations of COSON under operations of COSON under his tenure. He has continued to spend the organisation’s funds without prerequisite oversight thereby hurting the earnings due to the right owners.
“Furthermore, all owners of musical content in Nigeria are advised to disregard any information being propagated by Chief Tony Okoroji and his cronies on social media that he enjoys the support of the right owners. Virtually all relevant stakeholders in the music industry including top artistes, publishers and record labels with active music catalogs are aligned in support of the NCC’s suspension of COSON’s operating license and with PMAN, Premier Music and Ivory Music in the freezing all its bank accounts.
“The PMAN President, Pretty Okafor who is also a COSON member appeals to all musicians to stay calm and be reassured that the Union is doing all it can to end the current fracas in the collective management space. The PMAN President emphasized that the only way to guarantee effective copyright administration practice in Nigeria is putting in place proper operational, policy and legislative structures to ensure accountability and sustainable growth,” Pretty Okafor added.
His comments are coming less than a month after he warned members of PMAN that Tony Okoroji doesn’t represent creative industry as his attention has been drawn to a statement in the media made by the former COSON boss, who gave an open invitation to Presidential Aspirants, inviting them for discussions, supposedly on behalf of the creative industry and COSON.