A Federal High Court on Friday, November 13, awarded King Sunny Ade N500 million as damages for copyright infringement. Also included was an additional N3 million for prosecuting the case.
This is coming thirty years after the Juju music legend took record manufacturing company African Songs and its subsidiary Take Your Choice Stores to court.
The two companies were ordered to pay the sum by Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Lagos, while delivering judgment in the suit first instituted by the musician in 1975.
King Sunny Ade had stated in his statement of claim that in 1975, a contract dispute arose between him and the two companies culminating to a judgement delivered by Justice Dosumu presiding over a Lagos high court.
According to him, in the said judgement the court ordered the companies to return the master tapes of the original musical works produced under the label of the two companies by Sunny Ade and his green sport back to him, but before the master tape could be returned the chairman chief Executive Office of the two companies Chief Bolarinwa Abioro died.
Consequently, in a bid to retrieve the master Tapes Sunny Ade in 1997 dragged the two companies before a federal high court in Lagos, joined as co-defendants are, Lati Alagbada, Record manufacturing Nigeria limited, Ibukunola printers, Alhaja Awawu Ade Amodu,and M.O. Alagbada, who he alleged have been using the master tapes to produce inferior qualities of his musical works and sell them to members of the public thereby depriving him of his means of livelihood.
Many of these companies don’t exist anymore though..