A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has issued an Anton Piller order directing the seizure of “Okafor’s Law” produced by Omoni Oboli.
An Anton Piller order is one which requires the defendant in proceedings to permit the plaintiff or his or her legal representatives to enter the defendant’s premises in order to obtain evidence essential to the plaintiff’s case.
The judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba also issued an interim order, suspending the release and launch of the film in any movie theatre or cinema house on March 31, pending the determination of a motion on notice before the court.
The judge ordered the seizure of all copies, materials, projections or infringing materials, relating to the subject matter.
The orders followed an ex parte application filed by a company, Rancoteur Productions Ltd, on behalf of a Canada-based scriptwriter, Jude Idada.
Idada lays claim to the film “Okafor’s Law” as his intellectual property.
The plaintiff had filed the suit through Anthony Idigbe (SAN), seeking an order, halting the premiere and release of the said “Okafor’s Law”, pending the determination of a copyright infringement suit filed against Oboli.
Joined as first to third defendants in the suit are: Dioni Visions Entertainment, Omoni Oboli, and The FilmOne Ltd.
The plaintiff, in its exparte application, had sought an order, restraining the premiere or release of the said film, as well as an Anton Piller order, seizing all copies of the infringing material.
The exparte application was moved in terms by counsel from the Law Firm of Idigbe, O. Otudor, who urged the court to grant the orders as prayed.
Delivering his ruling on the exparte motion, Justice Buba granted the orders as prayed.
The court had earlier issued an order of interim injunction, halting the screening of the movie at the premiere which held on Friday, March 24.
The court made the following orders:
An order of interim injunction, restraining the first to third defendants, whether by themselves or their privies, from premiering the feature film “Okafor’s Law”, in Lagos or any part of Nigeria, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
An order of interim injunction, restraining the defendant from releasing the featured film in any movie theatre or Cinema house on March 31, pending the hearing of the motion on notice.
An order of interim injunction, restraining the defendants from distributing the featured film, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
An Anton piller order is granted to the plaintiff, to enter into the defendant’s premises, Cinema, Studio and other places of dissemination, to seize all copies of infringing materials relating to subject matter.
An order, directing the defendants to deliver and surrender to the plaintiff’s solicitors, all products and packages with the inscription, “Okafor’s Law” and volume of transaction or trade which have been done by defendants.
An order directing the defendants to permit the court’s bailiff, and such other persons not exceeding four (4), to enter the premises on any working day of Monday to Saturday at 8am to 8pm, to remove all products or packages with the name “Okafor’s Law”
An order for a search to be conducted (in) places where “Okafor’s Law” is stored and sold.
An order declaring that a failure of defendants to comply with the court’s order, will put the plaintiff at liberty to apply for committal to prison of such person.
The court thereafter, fixed March 29 for hearing of the motion on notice.
The movie “Okafor’s Law” is billed for release on March 31.
Jude Idada had accused Oboli of copyright infringement on the “Okafor’s Law” movie, adding that she had stolen his story idea for the movie in September 2016.
He alleged that Oboli took the work he had done regarding “Okafor’s Law”, and developed it without giving him due credit.
He avers that the producer however, went ahead to set March 31, as a release date for the movie, inspite of a demand letter sent to her, as well as a copyright infringement suit instituted.