COSON FILES N2 BN SUIT AGAINST ACCESS BANK FOR UNLAWFUL ACCOUNT FREEZE
By Dipo Omoware
The Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) has filed a 2 billion naira lawsuit against Access Bank PLC at the Federal High Court, Lagos for the alleged unlawful freezing of the society’s accounts.
The suit No FHC/L/CS/1777/2019 was filed on Tuesday, October 8 by Mr. James Ononiwu of Lagos law firm of Whitedove Solicitors. The suit is accompanied by a 40 paragraph Statement of Claim and 18 exhibits.
In the suit, COSON is asking for a declaration that the freezing of its accounts with Access Bank without any court order is illegal, unlawful, null and void.
The collection management organisation, which collects royalties for musicians across the country, has also asked the Federal High Court for an order directing Access Bank to immediately unfreeze its accounts with the bank that were frozen without any court order and release all liens restricting COSON from operating its accounts.
The lawsuit also includes damages for the loss of reputation and goodwill arising from the freezing of its account.
In a press release issued on its website, the copyright organisation said freezing its account has stalled the payment of royalties due to its members and affiliates of the organisation, leading to instability in the organisation.
Legal Counsel to COSON, Ononiwu who filed the suit, further stated, “I have said it several times that anyone, no matter who he is or what institution he represents, that lands one blow at COSON will receive five hot blows in return. The members of COSON are determined that no one will intimidate or crush this great Nigerian institution of creative people. They have told us to follow anyone who wishes to mess with COSON anywhere, to the Supreme Court and back. That is our brief and that is a brief we hold dear to our hearts. We join members of COSON across Nigeria in saying, ‘Let the music pay!’”