Musician Sues Airtel For ₦350 Million Over Copyright Breach

On Friday, musician Veno Marioghae-Mbanefo requested that a Federal High Court rule against Airtel Nigeria Ltd.’s claimed unauthorized use of her 1985 popular song, Nigeria Go Survive, as unlawful.

Through her attorney, Rockson Igelige, Ms. Marioghae-Mbanefo is suing Airtel for alleged copyright infringement, seeking a total of N350 million in damages.

In Lagos State, a Federal High Court is hearing the case.

The complainant is asking for a ruling that Airtel violated her right under Section 12 of the Copyright Act by using the song to advertise its services to subscribers without crediting her as the owner.

She also seeks a declaration that Airtel’s use of her song in showcasing its products and services to its subscribers without her consent, licence or authorisation, constitutes an infringement of her copyright.

She is praying for the court’s order awarding N200 million as general damages against Airtel and N50 million as damages for alleged violation of her statutory right under Section 12 of the Copyright Act of 2004.

The plaintiff also seeks an award of N100 million against Airtel as aggravated damages for alleged infringement of her copyright.

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 prayed 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.

A date is yet to be given for hearing of the suit.


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