Veno Marioghae-Mbanefo, a musician, asked a Federal High Court on Friday to declare illegal the alleged unauthorised use of her 1985 hit song, Nigeria Go Survive, by Airtel Nig. Ltd.

Mrs Marioghae-Mbanefo, through her counsel, Rockson Igelige, is suing Airtel for N350 million in damages for alleged infringement of her copyright.

The case is being heard in a Federal High Court in Lagos State.

The plaintiff seeks a declaration that Airtel’s use of the song to promote its business to subscribers without naming her as the owner violates her rights under Section 12 of the Copyright Act.
She also seeks a declaration that Airtel’s use of her song in promoting its products and services to its subscribers without her consent, license, or authorization constitutes a copyright infringement.

She is requesting that the court issue an order awarding N200 million in general damages to Airtel and N50 million in statutory damages under Section 12 of the Copyright Act of 2004.

The plaintiff also seeks N100 million in aggravated damages from Airtel for alleged infringement of her copyright.

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She is seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Airtel, its agents, servants, privies, or successors-in-title from further broadcasting, publishing, transmitting or using the song for advertising, telemarketing and promotional purposes without her consent.

The plaintiff also prays the court to direct Airtel to remove the song from its list of songs for advertising, business, telemarketing or promotional purposes.

The plaintiff also seeks any other order that the court may deem fit to make under the circumstance.

NAN reports that a date is yet to be given for hearing of the suit.

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