Law

N5.9bn judgement debt: MCSN, Multichoice resolve legal dispute

Akeem Nafiu The long-standing legal dispute between the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN) and Multichoice Nigeria Ltd has been resolved. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCSN, Mr. Mayowa Ayilaran, made the disclosure while speaking at the 2022 Annual General Meeting of the Society.

 

He told members of MCSN in attendance at the event that Multichoice have paid the sum of N2.7 billion in settlement of N5.9 billion judgement sum secured against it by the Society. He added that with the resolution of the case, appeals and cross-appeals with motions filed at the Supreme Court have automatically terminated.

 

Ayilaran said: “The Society had a final breakthrough in its legal challenge against Multichoice Nigeria Limited. It would be recalled that it was reported that the Court of Appeal affirmed the judgement of the Federal High Court which awarded damages of about N5.9 billion in favour of our Society.

 

“We also reported to you at the last Annual General Meeting that Multichoice and our Society are exploring options to amicably resolve the issue.

 

We are happy to formally report to the Annual General Meeting that the issue has been resolved with Multichoice Nigeria Limited paying to our organization, the sum of N2.7 billion in settlement of the judgement debt, securing license for the use of musical works and sound recordings for subsequent years up to 2020 and amicably settling another case which the Society was litigating against a sister organisation in MCSN vs. Details Nigeria Limited”.

 

The CEO also revealed that for the first time since 2006, management of MCSN have resumed distribution of royalties to members and affiliates in the course of 2021. He however disclosed that the organization is facing herculean task regarding pro

 

curement of foreign exchange from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the transfer of shares to foreign affiliates. To resolve the issue, Ayilaran said MCSN will engage the CBN in the course of 2022, to find ways of opening a window for copyright and other intellectual property rights transactions for them to qualify for foreign exchange deals. In his speech, Chairman of MCSN, Mr. Orits Wiliki, noted that from the results presented by the Board of Directors, it is clear that the Society is fast recovering from the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and getting on track for steady growth. “Our society has definitely opened a new chapter and has begun a journey to linking our creativity to pros perity. All hands should therefore be on deck for the exciting days ahead”, Wiliki said. On his part, President of MCSN, Dr. Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye, thanked the Society’s CEO and Board of Directors for their undiluted focus, determination and resolve to ensure that MCSN continue to deliver dividends of copyrights to its members. “Talking about Government and economy; now that the 2023 general election is approaching and electioneering activities are in top gear, I would admonish you, my dear colleagues, not to fold your arms and sit idle in this season. We should all play our role by first registering and getting our voters’ cards as this is our power to elect the government that  we deserve to work for us. “We should equally, as far as possible, engage in the choice of our people who would serve in various capacities from Local Governments, State Assemblies, Governors, National Assembly to the Presidency. We should engage our elected and appointed officials at all levels and at every opportunity to do something good and visible for our sector”, Adegeye added. Highlights of the event was the adoption and approval of the Chairman, Directors and Financial Reports for the year ended 31st December, 2021. Some members were also elected into the Board (General Council) as Directors in line with Article 35 (a) (I) (v) of MCSN’s Articles of Association.

 

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