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Saturday, 25 May 2019

Amosun needs a refresher grammar class

By Victor Ojelabi




Recent statement credited to Senator Ibikunle Amosun, positing that he inherited a failed state from OGD is at best ludicrous. Amosun, who is at the twilight of his administration has embarked on a self-adulating adventure across all news media, as a last palliative to his badly bruised ego. One of his strategies is to promote the narrative that his administration was too remarkable to be compared with any other and as such deserves the eminence of being succeeded by a person of his choosing. It is no longer news that his ubiquitous effort to foist Akinlade on the people of Ogun suffered hard punches both at home (in his party APC) and abroad (with APM). This was despite travail at frustrating opposition during political campaigns and the loose-belt election budget, reported to have been funded from state treasury. Aftermath of the shocking defeat to Dapo Abiodun (a candidate who barely had the chance to campaign in the state without resistance, or even implement his plan for billboards, posters and other OOH), Amosun has been engaged in vile attacks on everyone he feels had a contribution to Dapo’s success. Social media even made a mockery of his fruitless flights to Abuja for picture panorama with the president in a bid to appeal to Buharists.

It is therefore not strange that OGD is on the lips of Amosun at this moment. First, we all know how Gbenga Daniel surreptitiously used his political structure to ensure Dapo Abiodun’s victory. Second, how can the almighty Amosun not find a way to explain how unpopular his government has become. His error though is that he drew a mirror too close to his hanging balls while trying to reflect the nudes of his predecessor. That Ibikunle called OGD’s government a failure, means one of these two things; its either a case of psychosis or a pitiful deficiency in grammar. For what it’s worth let’s treat Amosun’s claims of achievements on its merit and juxtapose with that of OGD’s, to provide perspective.

Amosun claimed that when he assumed office in 2011, investors were running away from the state, “because of high level of insecurity”! Well, that may be a figment of his imagination, because during OGD’s 8 years, major multinationals, among several industries, built and opened their factories in Ogun. Nestle Foods, Dangote Cement at Ibese, Multirex Cocoa Industry, Coleman Wire & Cable, to mention a few, came on stream to provide jobs for Ogun people. The facts are there to be verified. On the contrary, during Amosun’s administration, PZ Cussons, Glaxosmithkline announced their exit. On the matter of insecurity, Amosun’s administration had its infamy on matter of insecurity. Under who’s watch was the scary rein of the’ Bado Boys’ of Ikorodu/Sagamu, the militancy at Arepo?

Amosun claimed his government grew the state IGR from N700million to N7billion.Even though this cannot be verified, let’s still take it for a fact. The import of this is that the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun had an extra monthly income of about N6.3billion that his predecessor hadn’t! Judging by this, what was Ogun doing among the committee of debtor-states with respect to workers’ salaries and allowances? Lagos state who is famous for its sporadic IGR growth owed none during same period, a proof of independence, the glory Senator Amosun is trying to lay claim to. More so Amosun’s strategy was to use part-payments as gloss, so he could confidently claim not to owe. But as at press time the total deductions from Ogun state worker’s pay was estimated to be over N20billion. There is general anxiety among workers that they may never get their monies, and definitely the debt will be passed on to the new Dapo Abiodun’s government. The OGD’s administration that the Senator claimed left a failed state, didn’t leave a wage-debt burden. It is also appalling that during this period (last four years) the state is estimated to have made an extra N302billion income besides federal allocation (going by Amosun’s IGR claim)!

There is not doubt that the masses were the last thing on the mind of this administration. Amosun ran an elitist government, which was in sharp contract to Gbenga Daniel’s inclusive government. The roads and bridges Amosun and his Chinese friends built across the state were at the expense of people’s livelihood. The essence of infrastructural development is to enhance livelihood not kill it. Pulling down shops, houses that the poor’s live-line, with was no big deal to his government. OGD had a more humane approach to infrastructure development. When OGD was to embark on the dualisation of the Abeokuta-Kobape-Siun-Sagamu highway, turning it into a 37.5 -kilometre express road, he first built brand new brick houses with electricity for the owners of houses on the projects path. These were people who owned mud houses, and lived with no electricity. It was only after the people where relocated that project kicked off. In fact some residents of Orile Imo whose mud houses were far from the road and were not marked for demolition trooped to the Governor’s Office, lobbying that their shanties should be demolished and replaced with this new luck OGD bonanza houses.

To cap it all let’s do a refresher very few OGD projects:

a. Dualisation of Abeokuta-Sagamu road, Lalubu road and a host of others.

b. Building of new stadia at Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu and Ilaro; and transformation of the existing MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta.

c. The Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop Estate, the OGD workers estate (which made 1000 civil servants of all grades including drivers and messengers to become landlord and landladies)

d. Transformation of Olumo Rock, turning it into a money-spinning machine with the introduction of an elevator to take tourists to the top of the rock

e. Other landmark projects were also underway before Amosun came in and thwarted them. Some worth mentioning are the Agri Cargo airport, Olokola deep seaport project as well as Ogun Guadong.

These are physical projects that are still available for verification. How all these achievements somersault into leaving a ‘failed state’ is bereft of common sense.

As Senator Ibikunle Amosun spends his last days as the executive governor of Ogun State, many would expect that he embraces fate, accepts defeat and move on to an elder statesmen position, providing guidance for subsequent governments. OGD is doing this just as well as those before him. Casting aspersions is not only a disservice to humanity, but a slap on the face of Ogun people, who had to endure 8-years of his draconian government. But as they say, common sense is not common.

Amosun needs a refresher grammar class

By Victor Ojelabi

Recent statement credited to Senator Ibikunle Amosun, positing that he inherited a failed state from OGD is at best ludicrous. Amosun, who is at the twilight of his administration has embarked on a self-adulating adventure across all news media, as a last palliative to his badly bruised ego. One of his strategies is to promote the narrative that his administration was too remarkable to be compared with any other and as such deserves the eminence of being succeeded by a person of his choosing. It is no longer news that his ubiquitous effort to foist Akinlade on the people of Ogun suffered hard punches both at home (in his party APC) and abroad (with APM). This was despite travail at frustrating opposition during political campaigns and the loose-belt election budget, reported to have been funded from state treasury. Aftermath of the shocking defeat to Dapo Abiodun (a candidate who barely had the chance to campaign in the state without resistance, or even implement his plan for billboards, posters and other OOH), Amosun has been engaged in vile attacks on everyone he feels had a contribution to Dapo’s success. Social media even made a mockery of his fruitless flights to Abuja for picture panorama with the president in a bid to appeal to Buharists.





It is therefore not strange that OGD is on the lips of Amosun at this moment. First, we all know how Gbenga Daniel surreptitiously used his political structure to ensure Dapo Abiodun’s victory. Second, how can the almighty Amosun not find a way to explain how unpopular his government has become. His error though is that he drew a mirror too close to his hanging balls while trying to reflect the nudes of his predecessor. That Ibikunle called OGD’s government a failure, means one of these two things; its either a case of psychosis or a pitiful deficiency in grammar. For what it’s worth let’s treat Amosun’s claims of achievements on its merit and juxtapose with that of OGD’s, to provide perspective.

Amosun claimed that when he assumed office in 2011, investors were running away from the state, “because of high level of insecurity”! Well, that may be a figment of his imagination, because during OGD’s 8 years, major multinationals, among several industries, built and opened their factories in Ogun. Nestle Foods, Dangote Cement at Ibese, Multirex Cocoa Industry, Coleman Wire & Cable, to mention a few, came on stream to provide jobs for Ogun people. The facts are there to be verified. On the contrary, during Amosun’s administration, PZ Cussons, Glaxosmithkline announced their exit. On the matter of insecurity, Amosun’s administration had its infamy on matter of insecurity. Under who’s watch was the scary rein of the’ Bado Boys’ of Ikorodu/Sagamu, the militancy at Arepo?

Amosun claimed his government grew the state IGR from N700million to N7billion.Even though this cannot be verified, let’s still take it for a fact. The import of this is that the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun had an extra monthly income of about N6.3billion that his predecessor hadn’t! Judging by this, what was Ogun doing among the committee of debtor-states with respect to workers’ salaries and allowances? Lagos state who is famous for its sporadic IGR growth owed none during same period, a proof of independence, the glory Senator Amosun is trying to lay claim to. More so Amosun’s strategy was to use part-payments as gloss, so he could confidently claim not to owe. But as at press time the total deductions from Ogun state worker’s pay was estimated to be over N20billion. There is general anxiety among workers that they may never get their monies, and definitely the debt will be passed on to the new Dapo Abiodun’s government. The OGD’s administration that the Senator claimed left a failed state, didn’t leave a wage-debt burden. It is also appalling that during this period (last four years) the state is estimated to have made an extra N302billion income besides federal allocation (going by Amosun’s IGR claim)!

There is not doubt that the masses were the last thing on the mind of this administration. Amosun ran an elitist government, which was in sharp contract to Gbenga Daniel’s inclusive government. The roads and bridges Amosun and his Chinese friends built across the state were at the expense of people’s livelihood. The essence of infrastructural development is to enhance livelihood not kill it. Pulling down shops, houses that the poor’s live-line, with was no big deal to his government. OGD had a more humane approach to infrastructure development. When OGD was to embark on the dualisation of the Abeokuta-Kobape-Siun-Sagamu highway, turning it into a 37.5 -kilometre express road, he first built brand new brick houses with electricity for the owners of houses on the projects path. These were people who owned mud houses, and lived with no electricity. It was only after the people where relocated that project kicked off. In fact some residents of Orile Imo whose mud houses were far from the road and were not marked for demolition trooped to the Governor’s Office, lobbying that their shanties should be demolished and replaced with this new luck OGD bonanza houses.

To cap it all let’s do a refresher very few OGD projects:

a. Dualisation of Abeokuta-Sagamu road, Lalubu road and a host of others.

b. Building of new stadia at Ijebu-Ode, Sagamu and Ilaro; and transformation of the existing MKO Abiola Stadium in Abeokuta.

c. The Olusegun Obasanjo Hilltop Estate, the OGD workers estate (which made 1000 civil servants of all grades including drivers and messengers to become landlord and landladies)

d. Transformation of Olumo Rock, turning it into a money-spinning machine with the introduction of an elevator to take tourists to the top of the rock

e. Other landmark projects were also underway before Amosun came in and thwarted them. Some worth mentioning are the Agri Cargo airport, Olokola deep seaport project as well as Ogun Guadong.

These are physical projects that are still available for verification. How all these achievements somersault into leaving a ‘failed state’ is bereft of common sense.

As Senator Ibikunle Amosun spends his last days as the executive governor of Ogun State, many would expect that he embraces fate, accepts defeat and move on to an elder statesmen position, providing guidance for subsequent governments. OGD is doing this just as well as those before him. Casting aspersions is not only a disservice to humanity, but a slap on the face of Ogun people, who had to endure 8-years of his draconian government. But as they say, common sense is not common.

Uppercut! Judge throws out Okoroji's Case Against Legal @COSON Board

By Victor Ojelabi

When it rains, it pours. The noose around the necks of Tony Okoroji and his band of puppets tightened further with bruising defeat at the Federal High Court on May 23, 2019.

Presiding over SUIT NO. FHC/L/CS/606/2018 - Copyright Society of Nigeria and Ors v. Efe Omoregbe and Ors, the Honorable Justice Saliu Seidu ruled in favour of defence counsel, Barrister Dapo Ademola's (AOA Legal) preliminary objection, challenging the authority of the 1st plaintiff to commence the case and the jurisdiction of the honourable court to hear the suit. Justice Saidu ruled to strike out the names of the 1st - 6th defendants and the entire case eventually.

Tony Okoroji, a serial litigant whose desperate and illegal hold on the reins of COSON may have cost the society over N50,000,000.00 in legal expenses over the last 18 months (COSON admitted to N34m plus in their 2018 account) suffered the damaging loss in the directorship case filed against Efe Omorogbe, Sikiru Agboola, Obi Asika, Joel Ajayi, Dare Fasasi, Audu Maikori and others.

Justice Saidu's judgement signals the beginning of the end of the litany of frivolous suits filed by Okoroji in the name of COSON to shackle the regulator, gag the oppposition, muddy the waters, harass users and generally buy time while seeking vistas for a political resolution that would sweep all his alleged infractions under the carpet.

The devastating legal uppercut COSON suffered at yesterday's hearing digs a damaging hole in Okoroji's posturing as an invincible juggernaut who knows his way around the courts and always gets vindication in the long run even though he's suffered debilitating loses against PMAN, MCSN, Mayo Ayilaran and many others in the past.

More importantly, the ruling digs a hole in about a dozen other cases against the NCC, broadcasters, the legal board, Efe Omorogbe, Audu Maikori, Joel Ajayi, Dare Fasasi, Pretty Okafor and even officers of the NCC. Cases funded by rights owners' royalties to serve the purpose of an intransigent director against the widely published wishes of the members on whose repertoire royalties are collected in the first place.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Nowhere to Run for Okoroji as MPAN Offers to Fund COSON Forensic Audit, Calls on N.C.C to Act

By Victor Ojelabi



About fifty (50) stakeholders/members of the Music Publishers Association of Nigeria (MPAN) have signed a petition written to the Nigeria Copyright Commission (N.C.C), demanding the immediate ordering of the forensic audit of the Copyright Society of Nigeria's (COSON) account. This was the resolution at the MPAN’s town hall meeting recently held last week in Lagos. The meeting deliberated on the abundant revenue opportunities in the industry, particularly publishing rights, noting that over €8billion was generated from global performance royalties in 2018, and that Nigerian rights owners deserve a decent piece of that considering the meteoric rise in the consumption of Nigerian music on the global scene.

The discussion dovetailed into the importance of a CMO that works. The members, who are major stakeholders in the music industry of Nigeria, expressed their frustration with crisis rocking collective management of copyright in Nigeria and the impact on their business.

Panelists included MPAN chair, Olumide Mustafa (Green Light Publishing), secretary Isioma Idigbe (Punuka), Aibee Abidoye (Chocolate City / Warner Music Group), Justin Ige (Creative Legal) and Bizzle Osikoya (The Plug, Davido Music Worldwide) stressed the need for transparency, better corporate governance, and accountability in Collective Management Organizations so that creatives can earn their due from their works.

Stressing that transparency and accountability are the bedrock of all CMOs, participants joined the numerous stakeholders, who have called for the audit of COSON’s account and communicated their position in a petition to the N.C.C demanding that it orders the immediate forensic audit of COSON’s accounts. They petition was signed by 47 stakeholders.

It can be recalled that key stakeholders and members of COSON have in recent times demanded for a full forensic audit of the COSON’s accounts, in line with the spirit of transparency and accountability. Many industry watchers believe the audit is inevitable if trust must be re-established in the leadership at the Copyright Society of Nigeria. COSON’s management has blamed the call on enemies of the organisation, holding firm to its position not to allow it, on the premise that COSON’s accounts have been regularly audited by approved auditors and the cost of a forensic audit is not requisite and cannot be borne by the organisation. With the surfacing of MPAN members’ offer to foot the audit bill, it will be quite destructive to the image of the organisation if they maintain this stance, as industry watchers, both local and international will have no choice but to adopt a stench perfection about accountability in collective management in Nigeria.

COSON has been enmeshed in a leadership crisis for 2 years, with Tony Okoroji, the self-acclaimed chairman, accused of perpetuating self in office through a bootleg resolution at December 19, 2017 Extraordinary General Meeting, that upturned his sack by a simple majority vote of the COSON’s governing Board. The resolution has since been declared null and void by the N.C.C, but Tony Okoroji has remained in office against all odds. The call for a forensic audit of the accounts is not unconnected to several allegations of financial misappropriation, self aggrandisement and misuse of office by Tony Okoroji and two other directors. There is also a pending case at a Lagos High Court, where the NCC filled criminal charges against Mr Tony Okoroji and three others for collecting musicians royalty fraudulently without approval from NCC.

COSON is at the brink of losing its operational license if it does not obey N.C
C’s order to revert back to the status quo before the December 19, 2017 EGM. This posture of the regulator recognises Efe Omorogbe as the substantive chairman of COSON and the board membership to remain the 11 directors that participated in the emergency board meeting of December 7, 2019, where Tony Okoroji was sacked as COSON chairman. Efe, on his part, has maintained that he would take the forensic audit of the COSON account over its chairmanship, any day.

Collective Management is serious business anywhere in the world. Nigeria’s music and sound industry is rapidly growing and becoming a big-time employer of labour, particularly for our large youth population. Without doubt, all revenue streams need to be properly harnessed. A CMO plays a very crucial role in getting the most out of music and sound publishing. It is therefore worrisome that COSON fights stability at this point in time, when it should be consolidating on the gains of the past five years, viz, perceptional acceptance of rights payments by major right users. It is therefore a matter of interest to industry stakeholders and the generality of progressive Nigerians, that this matter be resolved quickly. The way forward, as have been popularly advocated by several aggrieved members, is for COSON accounts to get a proper forensic audit. Now that the issue of who pays for it is out of the way, it is expected that Tony Okoroji and the current management of COSON will use this opportunity to clear the dust hovering over their reputation and that of the organisation they claim to lead.

The question remains; if they don’t, will the Nigerian Copyright Commission take the firm regulator’s position and make them bite the bullet?







Isioma Idigbe talking about the legal background while dissecting what publishing is and why it matters.

Mr. Olumide Mustapha giving the Opening Remarks.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

A History Of Crisis: Why Stakeholders Must Rise Up & Save COSON Now

This plantain rots away, you delude yourself claiming it's ripening.



The Copyright Society of Nigeria is a 9-year-old Collective Management Organization (CMO) that has shown the potential to succeed in the all important task of intellectual property rights protection in Nigeria. Licensed by the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) to manage the collection and distribution of royalties for the commercial exploitation of musical works and sound recording, the organisation had shown significant promised until crisis broke out about a year and six months ago.
By virtue of size and the exponential growth of this industry in the last 20 years, COSON is by default the most invested CMO in Nigeria, and potentially, Africa. Therefore, the remarkable growth of COSON over the years doesn't come with a miracle tag, nor does it lend credence to the narrative of it being down to the sole effort of any particular personality. Many would argue that Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), a far older CMO for the industry didn’t make as much progress, but existential timing is a logical explanation.

COSON came on stream at a time when the massive growth of the music industry had drawn local attention to the issues of copyright infringement. Moreso, the industry had become better organized with the emergence of quality record labels, publishing firms, artist managers and big-time international exposure. Therefore, a CMO coming at that point would naturally leverage the structure and goodwill of the industry to pursue its course under any name or management. COSON in its case, was even the result of the advocacy drive of strong stakeholders, therefore success was at a tipping point when it was licensed to operate in 2010.

Following approval, COSON kicked-off reflecting the structured position of the industry it represents, with a well-staffed secretariat, governing board and nation-wide footprints that followed quite easily. Chief Tony Okoroji, an industry veteran, famed for his efforts in copyright protection issues, became the board’s maiden chairman, a position he held until the December 7th, 2017 Emergency Board Meeting, which sacked him for his inability to clear allegations of infractions as contained in a petition founding fathers wrote to the NCC and copied the board. The petition was signed by Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, Mr. Bode Akinyemi (Ivory Music), Chief Osita Okeke (Osy Affasson), Rogers Okonkwo (Rogers All Stars), Mr. Laolu Akins, Mr Toju Ejueyitchie (Premier Music Publishing) and others.

The infractions listed in the petition were chiefly committed by Tony Okoroji and two other directors, Azeezat Allen and John Uduegbunam. It was also noted that a similar petition was months earlier, submitted to the board and board members were not informed about it. Tony Okoroji and COSON’s GM, Chinedu Chukwuji had responded to the NCC, without passing the response through the board.
The aggrieved directors went on to vote 6 against 4 for the sack of Okoroji, having rejecting the option of resignation presented to him. The board then passed a resolution that made Efe Omorogbe the chairman and banned all directors and their companies from operating as vendors or consultants to the organization. Those that voted to sack Okoroji were Efe Omorogbe, Sikiru Agboola, Obi Asika, Dare Fasasi, Joel Ajayi and Audu Maikori. Okoroji, the other two accused in the petition and Ras Kimono voted to keep him has chairman.

At the EGM of December 19, 2017, the unusual happened. The new chairman and the other 5 board members were purportedly sacked and Okoroji was reinstated as chairman, alongside Azeezat and John Uduegbunam in a process the regulator, the NCC has declared illegal.

First, the general assembly only has the constitutional right of sacking and appointing board members through votes, but no right to decide who becomes board chairman, it is the sole prerogative of the board members. The general assembly passed a resolution sacking the entire board and then then reinstated Okoroji as chairman.

After the business of the EGM had been concluded and the a formal adjournment motion had been passed, a private meeting at the boardroom of the COSON House led to the announcement of a reconstituted board implying that Okoroji and the other two directors where granted the liberty to handpick and appoint board members rather than the assembly nominating and voting in new directors. This has led to several court cases and a complete state of flux about the legal status of COSON.

For several years, Tony Okoroji had been the face of COSON. He was mainly the society’s spokesman, he told the story of COSON to all, championing its advocacy, promoting its activities across all media channels and addressing undermining or counter positions on COSON’s activities. This definitely, wasn’t without the backing of the other directors on the governing board, who were in fact rights owners themselves, making financial investments in content creation and using COSON as a platform to protect their rights.

Okoroji sold the facade that he was the one responsible for the successes of COSON, meanwhile board members managed their grievances to allow the organization keep a united front. They rallied round the chairman as the face of the course, a privilege Tony took advantage of, to get the loyalty of several members, COSON staff and other right owners, who now see him and not COSON, as their benefactor.

Okoroji’s interview on the matter was more PR-themed than explanatory. It was tailored to size with all lines and angles of good imaging of a peace-loving, focused, successful leader was ensured. While emphasizing his personal efforts in developing the COSON House (debt-free and without any government or private funding), he reiterated that in same year it was commissioned (2017), COSON Week was successfully held at the best event venues, and over N200,000,000.00 was distributed to members as royalties. He also stated that COSON accounts have always been audited every year, and a copy sent to NCC, CAC and all members of the society, and are debated at every AGM. He ascribed the success of COSON to his management style of openness and accountability.

He went on to accuse external forces for using some board members to destabilize COSON, coming on the backdrop of his fight with the attorney general of the federation (Abubakar Malami), who approved the license of a parallel CMO for music and sound recordings.

Okoroji claimed that the petition that was the basis of his sack at the EBD of 7th December 2017, was written by Toju, a bitter election opponent, whom he defeated. He also claimed that Ebenezer Obey said he was pressured to sign the document.

On the issue of the request by members for forensic audit of COSON account, Okoroji said that the aggrieved board members were trying to bring KPMG and Price Waterhouse Cooper to run COSON. He went on to disregard the allegation of unethical award of contracts to TOPS Limited, his private firm, saying he was only helping COSON to get sponsorship for her events, and TOPS has never charged COSON for the services.

As a concerned member of COSON, taking a critical look at the submissions of the parties in this fiasco brings some important queries to the bear about Tony Okoroji’s leadership of the society, which punctures all the media meandering aimed at shifting attention from the crux of the whole discord.

1. Has Tony Okoroji ever denied the allegation that TOPS Ltd has maintained a consultancy contract with COSON? NO!
2. Is it ethical to give TOPS Ltd any form of contract as the substantive chairman of the board? NO!
3. Has Okoroji addressed claims that the award of contracts for the renovation of the COSON House were done without board approval? NO!
4. Has Okoroji addressed allegations that he has illegally collected commission from licensing fees? NO!
5. Is the forensic audit requested by members the same as the yearly audit done by COSON? NO!
6. Is Okoroji the sole reason behind COSON’s successes? NO!
7. Were the the proceedings of the December 19, 2017 extraordinary general meeting that purportedly reinstated Okoroji legal? NO! The regulators have said so.
8. Is Okoroji above the the law, as demonstrated by his continued disregard of NCC’s directives? NO!
9. Is Okoroji the only suitable candidate for COSON’s chairmanship? NO!

Therefore, whatever argument the Okoroji camp is putting up is nonsensical in its entirety, because you can’t build something on nothing. As it stands, in the eyes of the law, the chairman of the governing board of COSON is Efe Omorogbe. The rightful directors remain the 11 that held the emergence board meeting of 7th December, 2017 (inclusive of Okoroji himself). Any position beyond this is an audacious kidnap of the legal structure of COSON, which Tony is leading.

The whole drama and state of affairs at COSON are not an unfamiliar trend with Chief Okoroji for those who follow the political and legal events within the industry. History shows an established pattern in every industry organisation that Okoroji has been a part of.

From the early days of the the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria (MCSN), where as a board member, he tried foisting his will on the body and was heavily resisted. Tony would move on with some other board members to start a parallel organization in 1994. The supremacy battle between Performance and Mechanical Rights Society (PMRS) and MCSN led to the withdrawal of their approval - a move that created a decade-long lacuna in rights administration in Nigeria.

Chief Okoroji was also very much in the news for plotting a third term bid as president of PMAN, a move that was vehemently resisted by members. Okoroji's role in PMAN thereafter has left some watchers unsure of his intentions for the union until he found his way to COSON.

Okoroji is not new to controversies of this kind and the factionalization and crisis at COSON is threatening to kill the organisation.

As was the case in the past, COSON is the new baby at the mercy of his gambit, and like every other case, the organization is beginning to lose relevance, even presently operating illegally, according to the position of the regulator.The most fundamental question is, will stakeholders watch COSON go the way of PMAN after Okoroji's inglorious exit?

There is a local saying that 20 children cannot play together for 20 years. Which implies that most relationships and associations are transitory. Most often though, what changes is not the relationships, but the levels of interactions and value. So, when people stop being part of any social institution/group, they depart with a perception of the individuals they met, by virtue of their interactions. Hence their future relationship or description of those persons is defined by their previous experiences. For Okoroji, all past relationships on the boards of societies had left colleagues in bitterness, some grievances are over thirty years old. Can everyone be wrong about Tony Okoroji? The guys at MCSN? The guys at PMAN and now, colleagues at COSON?

Where two elephants fight, the grass takes the hit. In this case, the right owners are at the verge of falling into another rights collection gap, if Okoriji's intransigence forces the revocation of the operating licence of COSON by way of imminent expiration.

Okoroji has maintained that if things were being done wrongly, COSON would not be running successfully. It beats the imagination that a sexagenarian will miss to understand the concept of climbing a ladder placed on the wrong wall. An organization that a lot of stakeholders have put in years of efforts to build can keep running on reserve gas when the plugs are pulled, but not for long, the engines will fail.

Joel Ajayi, a long time finance committee chairman of COSON, who was among the board members that voted out Okoroji, spoke in an interview and affirmed he was one of the directors who acted on the petition against Okoroji and the board. This respected elder lamented that they had been complaining and overlooking Okoroji's excesses for many years until things got to a head.

The chief allegation remained that Okoroji and his cronies, executing through Chinedu Chukwuji, are mismanaging the finances of COSON. Many key stakeholders have demanded a forensic audit to clear the allegations and resolve the crisis. Falz, Mavin, Skales, Square Records, 9ice, 2Baba, EME, Brymo, Chocolate City, Premier Music Publishing, Ivory Music, Sunny Neji, Ruggedman, Vector, Timi Dakolo, Tunde and Wunmi Obe, PMAN and many more.

Some of the right owners have even written to users not to pay COSON until the audit has been conducted. This development is a gradual dismembering of COSON, its credibility and capacity to run as an effective CMO. Right users will be glad to hide under this debacle not to pay.

After the 2017 COSON Week, allegedly executed without board approval, Okoroji came back with a bill of about N26m to seek retroactive approval to TOPS Ltd, his company, an allegation he has NEVER DENIED. There is also another allegation that Okoroji received over N9m in commission from MTN's settlement without the knowledge and approval of the board, another allegation he has NEVER ADDRESSED. Aren't these valid reasons for an audit?

According to Article 61 of the COSON memo and articles of association “The Management Board shall appoint a General Manager who shall be the chief executive of the society with responsibility for the day-to-day activities of the society and to whom the Management Board may delegate any of its duties. The General Manager shall not be a member of the society”

However, Chief Okoroji has had an overbearing control of COSON, assuming a similar role of executive chairman, contrary to the provisions of the society’s MEMART. Okoroji has also been known to be involved in hiring and firing, contract awards and payments and other day-to-day running activities of COSON. Current GM, Chinedu Chukwuji who appears to run on the order of Okoroji’s is also suspected to have blood ties with him. Many financial and corporate governance questions beg for answers and it gets worrisome when the predominant messaging one gets from the organisation is evasive of the issues and demonizing of individuals.

This isn’t an "Efe vs Tony" thing. This in fact, is a COSON vs Okoroji, the music industry vs an apparent autocrat who acts like he is above questions. Will members rise up to resist the imminent destruction of a society that is now well positioned to protect their rights?

In the words of Vincent de Paul “…The downfall of most communities comes from the cowardice of superiors in not holding firm and in not purging them of the troublesome and incorrigible." The right owners are the superior, they own COSON not Tony Okoroji, who is an incorrigible piece that all truly concerned members have to purge before this community goes the way of others that Tony had been a part of.

In recognition and respect however, of the position of those who believe Okoroji is innocent of all the allegations that have been levelled against him, a full forensic audit of the account and operations of COSON under his tenure would be the basic starting point towards exonerating him. The continued dodging of the audit digs a big hole in Okoroji's argument. A big black hole COSON seem destined to drown into if immediate redemptive action is not taken by all key stakeholders in this embarrassing saga. COSON is worth the effort. Let's save it NOW.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Life Lessons From Author Partners Mudi Africa


Author of the much anticipated and soon-to-be-launched book, Life Lessons from Mudipapa, Francis Ewherido, has gone into a strategic partnership with Africa’s top clothiers, Mudi Africa, to kit the author at the presentation of the book on May 5 and subsequent guest appearances.
 The author who is also a Newspaper columnist while confirming the partnership said, “the implication is that during the presentation, subsequent media appearances, book readings and other engagements involving the emergent Mudipapa brand, my outfits will be from Mudi Africa.”
Corroborating Ewherido the founder and Chief Executive of Mudi Africa, Mr. Clement Mudiaga Enajemo, said even though the Mudipapa brand is new, the brain behind it has been around and will be a good ambassador of the Mudi Africa brand, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. “Moreover, we are friends and home boys, so it was not really a difficult decision to make.”
The unveiling of Life Lessons from Mudipapa, the first major literary work of multiple columnist and chartered insurance broker, Francis Ewherido, comes up on May 5 in Lagos and will attract many prominent people from the insurance, business world, media, academia and Delta State, the home state of Ewherido. The event commences at 2pm with red carpet.

Friday, 26 April 2019

COSON: Real reasons Tony Okoroji’s kicking dust (Emails, Letters)



What may have been intended as a PR masterstroke to buy public sympathy for the embattled Tony Okoroji appears to have fatally backfired.

Insiders irked by the brazen attempt to foist falsehood and demonize one of six directors who had moved to halt the rot and protect the funds of right owners from mindless plundering by Okoroji have been forced to break their silence.

A former director who served on the interim board of COSON at inception pleading anonymity, stated how surprised he was that Okoroji didn't move to request that the story be pulled down before it was circulated if by chance he had no fore-knowledge of its publication.

"I'm a bit surprised. I would have thought Okoroji was a more strategic thinker than this. For anyone to go after Efe Omorogbe with stories of loans they neither said were illegally collected nor remained unpaid is more of a move against Okoroji than Omorogbe. You see, the first problem we had during my time on the board was a row over a loan Okoroji collected in 2007 that remained unpaid until 2011. Each attempt to get him to repay the loan was met with unapologetic reluctance that offended and embarrassed the directors who approved the loan. If my memory serves me right, it was the same Efe Omorogbe who led the plea that more time should be given to Okoroji to repay and eventually offered to personally pay off the loan to ease the tension and stabilise the board.

A lot of the attacks Tony Okoroji would later launch against then finance committee members even after their exit from the board stemmed from their insistence that the debt owed by Okoroji must be repaid to COSON and not written off as he had expected."

Another close associate of Efe Omorogbe who was actively involved during the early years of the Association of Music Business Professionals (AM.B-Pro) quipped; "Uzor and his sources have unwittingly initiated a PR suicide for Okoroji. Mr. Integrity? Mr. VERY DISCIPLINED and FOCUSED? For where? Okoroji's debt was almost five years old. N850,000.00 when the naira had far more value. Efe paid N300,000.00 from his pocket to spare Okoroji's blushes and keep the ship on course so that the board can focus on tackling the users instead of endless in-fighting caused by Okoroji's indebtedness and recalcitrance.

Sunny Neji, Charlimo, Onyeka Onwenu, Joel Ajayi, Ben Ofoeze, Laolu Akins, Toju Ejueyitchie, John Uduegbunam, Victor Uwaifo, Obi Asika, none of them can say they didn't know about it. Not one. Anybody that denies knowledge is a blatant liar. Ask them.

In fact, what they may not know was that Efe discontinued paying the loan when he discovered that Okoroji collected a handsome sum of money from COSON for some PSAs, documentary or magazine he produced and insisted on getting paid for even though there was no prior bid, negotiation or approval. After collecting the money, Okoroji refused to service the debt. Not with even N100,000.00. Efe felt his generosity and kindness were being taken for stupidity so he discontinued paying Okoroji's long term, interest-free loan. This was also the genesis of a regular self-awarded contracts and questionable commissions Okoroji would continue to use to plunder the COSON accounts until the ill-fated COSON House contract award and contractor payment fiasco led to his sack as chairman.

These clowns saying their Mr. Integrity has never taken one penny of COSON money should wait until the audit is done. Even dem go shock when dem go see how much of COSON money don enter Okoroji and TOPS account.

Why you think say baba dey dodge forensic audit like SARS bullet? Why is it that it appears he'd rather contend with the regulator and force them to revoke COSON's operating licence than submit to an audit to validate his claim of being above board?" he queried.

The story published by Uzor Chikere's beats-onit.com, the subject of a looming lawsuit against the journalist was mischievously scripted to portray Okoroji as a victim of vicious persecution by Efe Omorogbe because of his (Okoroji's) refusal to allow Efe "turn COSON into his personal piggy bank".

The blog and its sources would go on to claim to have exposed the real motive behind Efe's "desperate bid" for the COSON chairmanship and the reason behind his insincere and self-serving call for forensic audit.

Before news about the letter from Efe's lawyers broke out, Rhiemen Omorogbe, Efe's brother and business partner had posted five questions (which have remained unanswered by Okoroji's cheer leaders as it the time of writing this piece) thus:

1. COSON audited accounts have often had "Other Loans" line item listed suggesting that loans have been granted and duly reported. Have all of these loans been granted to just Efe Omorogbe? If not, who are the others? Did they like Efe, pay back? If yes, within what time frame did they pay back?

2.Is there evidence of loan requests from Efe that were turned down by the board or finance committee? Were these alleged repeated requests made privately to Okoroji? Does Tony Okoroji have the sole right to approve and grant loan requests?


3. If a VERY DISCIPLINED and FOCUSED Tony Okoroji repeatedly tolerated and allowed Efe’s “excesses”, what does this say about his touted disciplinary credentials? If the reason for tolerating Efe's excesses is due to Okoroji's soft spot for Efe, how many other directors/members does he have soft spots for and how many did he "spoil" with unilaterally loans from COSON accounts?

4. Efe, whose companies run big projects and service major brands across Nigeria is being accused of desperation to be COSON chair while he is repeadly stating that he'll take a forensic audit over the chairmanship any day;

Okoroji whose personal business, TOPS has been alleged to have operated for years unethically servicing COSON as its major or maybe even sole client (within some financial years), has fought tooth and nail to avoid a forensic audit;

Between these two, whose past, present and future appear dependent on COSON chairmanship?

5. As suspiciously skewed as this "Chikere-leaks" bombshell is, doesn't it make it ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY for the FORENSIC AUDIT to happen right away and expose all of Efe Omorogbe's, and maybe, Tony Okoroji's hanky-panky once and for all?

Click here to view emails and letter exchange.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

New dawn in Ekiti as Fayemi's cabinet members are named

By Victor Ojelabi



Ekiti state undoubtedly has the most literate population in Nigeria. Put at about 99% of young adults, and often reckoned as the state with most professors per family unit in Nigeria, Ekiti should boast of the most informed electorate. But many still argue that the ‘Aketes’ aren’t that smart in their choice of leaders. A position that became commonplace after the emergence of not-so-ingenious government in 2014. Governance in the state was famed for cockeyed policies and sycophancy. There was popular consensus among the generality of Nigerians that policies and programs were shallow and sometimes ridiculous. The ‘Stomach Infrastructure’ program, for instance, was a good point for a lot of new media enthusiasts to cackle on the people of Ekiti and their leadership choice.

But not in 2018! the electorate ditched the anointed candidate of the incumbent and went back to their well-educated governor, who they had voted out in the previous election. Friends of Ekiti across the world saw this as a remediation, and in the nick of time. The model of reality in Ekiti changed, with many out-of-home citizens beckoning on hope for their state, after such an inglorious term.

Now that the more poise Fayemi (an alumnus of the prestigious Kings College, London) administration is operational, is honour finally restored to the people of Ekiti? Are we going to witness a more structured, deliberate and comprehensive development drive in Ekiti State? Fencists would argue that its too early to judge, but a litmus test for every new administration is cabinet set up, the quality of which can tell what is to come.

H.E. Dr. Kayode Fayemi recently announced his, and it is expected to define what our hope should be for the Land of Honour and Integrity, with respect to what is attainable in the next four years. Fayemi inaugurated 14 commissioners and five special advisers on Tuesday, April 9, about six months after his inauguration, setting the stage for an evaluation of the character and capacity stock of his administration. Here’s a look at the apostles of Fayemi’s four-point agenda:

Bamidele Faparusi is a 46-year old politician. He hails from Ode Ekiti, and holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical/Electronics Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure.  He also holds an MBA in Project Management from the Obafemi Awolow University, and a PhD. (Honorary) from Commonwealth University.

Hon. Faparusi was a member of the 7th Assembly. He represented Emure/ Gbonyin/ Ekiti East Federal Constituency at the lower house from 2011 to 2015. .

Bamidele’s gross experience in both public and private sectors is an asset to the Fayemi’s cabinet.

Dr. Fayemi appointed one of the most educated Nigerian women on his cabinet in person of Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade. She is Nurse, Midwife, Pharmacist and Medical Doctor rolled in one. She has had a progressive life of education in health services. Beyond that, Mojisola worked with several international agencies as consultant. She is globally-sort-after expert who has made her mark in service to mankind as a health professional.

Dr Yaya-Kolade battled the governorship ticket with Fayemi, but stepped down at some point. She maintained that her progressive plan for the state motivated her to contest for the high seat of governor.

It is expected that Dr. (Mrs) Mojisola Yaya-Kolade will positively influence this administration with her own unique agenda, which were well articulated during her campaign for the office of governor.

Fayemi reached for his old tool box for Febisola Adewale. Hon. Adewale serves under him as Commissioner in the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) during his first term, and made his mark. He was at the assembly during the Segun Oni-led administration.

Hon. Adewale his an astute business, who holds a bias for holding his investments to his home state. All of his businesses are in Ekiti and Ondo, being neighbouring state. Commonly ascribed with qualities like calm and unassuming, Febisola is loved and known across Ekiti as an executor.

Muyiwa Olumilua is another experienced hand in the cabinet of Dr. Fayemi. He worked with him as Senior Special Assistant on Special Project during his first term, charge of the proper and precise execution of all Government projects, ensuring that such projects are executed to the stated specifications and details, and also their timely completion, as agreed within the terms of the contract agreement.

Son of a former governor of the old Ondo State, Evang Bamidele Olumilua, Muyiwa is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, where he got his BSc and MBA in Estate Management/Finance.

Hon. Gbenga Agbeyo is yet another returnee member of Kayode’s First Team. A technocrat cum politician, Gbenga came from the academia in 2006 to join Fayemi’s campaign organisation prior to the 2007 election.

He is well-read and vast in administration. Hon. Agbeyo is a former Local Government Chairman in Ido/Osi Council during Fayemi's first term.

Dr Fayemi’s cabinet is also graced with Professor Adio Folayan. He is also material from Fayemi’s first term, where he served as Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. Until his recent appointment he was working at Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji, Osun State as Dean, College of Agriculture.

Prof. Folayan Operation Feed JABU and Environs made headlines in 2015 for its unique approach at driving agricultural entreprenuership. Hopes are high that his zeal and expertise for driving agricultural transformation will be brought to bear at his duties in Ekiti.

He is known to be very intelligent, highly resourceful and frugal.

Folorunso Olabode, was Commissioner for Youths and Sports and later Rural Development during Fayemi's first term. He has a civil society background with biases for social mobilisation and rural development. Folurunso had his degree and postgraduate studies at the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo Universities respectively.

His ingenuity in grassroots development and exposure will add some panache to a government that is people-focused and also helps in transforming the state in all sectors.

With Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu, Gov. Fayemi returns another partner from his past. Alhaji Jinadu is grassroot politician, an excellent communicator and avid listener. He is one of those that could be regarded as home boys. He stays with the people and understands their plight.

Alhlaji Jinadu retired from the National Orientation Agency, joined politics and was appointed Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in 2010 by Dr Kayode Fayemi.

Alhaji Jinadu’s deep understanding of the need of the people would be a serious impetus to the transformation agenda of the governor.

Femi Ajayi is one of the few new names on Fayemi’s cabinet. He is a technocrat, who retired from the corporate world to serve in the state. He brings on board his undiluted private sector experience and networks to help in boosting the economy of the state particularly, in attracting investments. Fayemi’s goal of growing the internally generated revenues will require such hands.

Evangelist Foluso Daramola retired as a permanent secretary from the state civil service in 2015. He holds a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Business Administration from University of Benin and Obafemi Awolowo University respectively. He also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Science from the Federal University of Technology, Akure. He is a member and fellow of eight professional bodies and president of National ICT Public-Private Forum.

His knowledge of Information Technology and Communication will help in building the knowledge zone being proposed by the Fayemi administration.

Sola Adebayo is also returning to Fayemi’s cabinet. He served as the Commissioner for Works during his first coming. During his tenure he planned and delivered many key infrastructure projects. Sola is a younger brother to former Ekiti State governor, Otunba Niyi Adebayo.

Mr Davies Olusoga is another familiar member of Fayemi’s team from his first tenure. He was appointed caretaker chairman of Moba Local government, when Fayemi came in 2010. Mr Olusoga will be coming in with is exceptional people skills, as Fayemi moves to run his interactive government.

Mr Michael Awopetu, is one more technocrat on the new cabinet. He has no political experience but has been adjudged to share in Fayemi’s transformation agenda. MR Awopetu will be giving up his lucrative private sector life to serve the good people of Ekiti State in this administration.

<strong>CONCLUSION</strong>

It is obvious from Fayemi’s choice of his First Team, that he is not given to time wasting. Bringing back most of his tested first tenure appointees and aides reveals that he is not welcoming slow starters. He desire to hit the ground running.

Most cabinet members are experienced public servants who also have successful private sector runs. Quality education is a common factor in the profile of the appointees, reckoning the importance Ekiti people place on knowledge and education. Needless to say that this is a new chapter in the life of the ‘Aketes’, a new dawn. Hopes are high to watch this day unfold.

Victor Ojelabi is a political analyst. He lives in Lagos.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

The Osasu Show Foundation to feed 1000 IDPs, orphans today in Abuja




The Osasu Show Foundation, a Non-Government Organization focused on improving the welfare and livelihood of the women and children through capacity building, education scholarships and start-up capital, will on Saturday, December 16th, 2017, host a Christmas party for over 1000 Internally Displaced Persons and Orphans at the Riverplate Park, Wuse 2, Abuja. 



The event is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative of The Osasu Show. It aims to bring sunshine into the lives of the less privileged this yuletide season. The founder of The Osasu Show Foundation, Ms. Osasu Igbinedion, expressed her delight at being able to make the less privileged smile during this festive period.



She said, "Anytime I visit IDPs’ Camps, I leave with a heavy heart as most of them are going through very difficult situations. Although we've sent numerous girls to school from across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria and empowered over 200 women with capital to begin small to medium scale businesses, my team and I decided to also celebrate them and make them forget their sorrows, especially while others are celebrating Christmas and the New Year around them. This is why we have decided to throw a party for one thousand IDPs and orphans. We hope to do more in the nearest future.”



The Osasu Show Foundation was inspired by the vital roles women play around the world, meeting the food needs of their households and contributing to the development and growth of the nation at large. 



Part of the ways the foundation is helping include the donation of Capacity Building Incubators (CBI), Education Scholarship Scheme (ESS), Group Micro Loan (GML), Group Funding Initiative (GFI),Integrated Empowerment Project (IEP) and TOS/ASDC- Annual Social Development Conference.



The Osasu Show Foundation is created for the sole purpose of solving social problems in a financially self-sustainable way.

Paris Club Refund: Court Orders Akwa Ibom Govt to Deposit N20bn in Bank over Failure to Pay Mauritz Walton Consultancy Fee



A Federal High Court on Friday ordered Akwa Ibom State government to deposit the sum of N20bn in three banks, namely First Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank and Zenith Bank, respectively, in respect of a suit filed by Mauritz Walton Nig. Ltd against  the government.

Mauritz had sued the Minister of Finance, Accountant General of the Federation, Central Bank of Nigeria, and  Akwa State government, as the 1, 2, 3, and 4 defendants over the refusal of the government of Akwa Ibom to pay it consultancy fee over the Paris Club Refund.