ACCESS BANK’S ROOSEVELT OGBONNA & IFEYINWA OSIME, MAY GO TO JAIL AS MUSICIANS BATTLE THEM FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT ~ 1STELEVEN9JATV – 1stEleven9jaTv
October 1, 2022

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of one of Nigeria’s biggest banks, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Roosevelt Michael Ogbonna and the bank’s Company Secretary, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Osime may be sent to jail as Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Nigeria’s biggest copyright collective management organization, begins contempt proceedings against them following Access Bank’s failure to unfreeze the accounts of COSON in the bank and to pay damages for unlawful freezing of COSON’s account as ordered by the Federal High Court.

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Weary of Access Bank’s intransigence, COSON has just filed a “Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court”, otherwise known as Form 48, at the Federal High Court, Lagos directed at Mr. Ogbonna and Mrs. Osime which reads as follows:

 

“TAKE NOTICE that unless you obey the order contained in the Judgement of this Honourable Court dated the 4th day of May, 2022 to wit: “An order of this court is hereby made directing the Defendant to IMMEDIATELY unfreeze the Plaintiff’s account with the bank frozen without any court order whatsoever and to release all restrictions placed on the plaintiff’s bank accounts including the withdrawal of funds from the account.” ;

“An Order of injunction is hereby made restraining the Defendants or its agents, privies or servants from further freezing the accounts of the Plaintiff or placing any restriction on the accounts of the Plaintiff without a valid court order, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to prison”.

 

It will be recalled that Justice Yellin S. Bogoro of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in a celebrated judgment made since 4th of May, ordered Access Bank Plc to IMMEDIATELY unfreeze the bank accounts of COSON at the bank and to pay COSON 70 million naira in damages for unlawful freezing of its accounts. Despite the order of Justice Bogoro and an earlier decision in 2019 by Justice M.S. Hassan, Access Bank has for a period of close to four years continued to withhold COSON’s funds which has resulted in the storming of the bank a few weeks back by many angry musicians. Written instructions given to the bank by COSON to pay earned specific royalties to several musicians have also been disobeyed by the bank.

 

The full Board of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), rose from a meeting held at the Boardroom of COSON House in Ikeja, two week ago, calling on Access Bank Plc to be a good corporate citizen and ensure that all court orders against it are fully obeyed. The Board asked the Bank to understand that while it is a defendant in one case today, it will be a plaintiff in another case tomorrow and when it prevails in court, the bank will expect the other party to respect the judgment of the court. According to the Board, the respect for the rule of law is critical to the stability and progress of every nation. Unfortunately, the appeal by the COSON Board seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

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