A Nigerian author Paulicap Okechukwu Okeke , based in Canada suing through his lawful attorney Mr Oludare Esan has slammed N250 million suit on Macmillan publishing Company Nigeria Limited over an alleged infringement of his intellectual property and copyright.
Joined as co-defendant is Universal Basic Education Commission. In a statement of claim filed before a Federal high court in Lagos, south west Nigeria by a Lagos lawyer, Barrister Prince Ude Ikpenwa on behalf of the Plaintiff, it was alleged that, Paulicap Okechukwu, a Nigerian resident at 2122,Theoden Court Pickering Ontario Canada is the author of a book titled "BIRIBAMBA THE LONELY ELEPHANT, first published in the United States of America on 30th of June, 2011 by Authorhouse Publishers.
The book was approved by the Canadian Educational Authorities and presently being sold and used in primary schools across Canada.
The Plaintiff averred that on one of his visit to his home country Nigeria,he took a copy of the book to Macmillan Publishing Company Lagos Office with a view of getting it published by the publishing company subject to the execution of a valid contract by the parties that will be enforceable,but the parties were unable to entered into or execute any valid contract.
However the Plaintiff further averred that in reckless disregard for his intellectual property rights, Macmillan with the active collusion or connivance of the Universal Basic Education Commission, took advantage of his absence from Nigeria, by latching onto a copy of the book given to Macmillan publishing company for Perusal with a view of reaching possible agreement for its publication in Nigeria, and surreptitiously proceeded to print, publish, sell and distribute same, without his knowledge, consent or approval and without any recourse whatsoever to him as the author of the book. The defendant was alleged to have sold many copies of the published work to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Universal Basic Education, with the inscription FGN/UBE 20113 'NOT FOR SALE 'making substantial financial gains from the transaction. The Plaintiff instructed his lawyer to write the defendant to do the needful, the defendant through its lawyer replied requesting personal negotiation with the plaintiff himself for possible amicable negotiation settlement but eventually failed to activate the negotiation process. The plaintiff contended that the action of the defendant is a grave violation his intellectual property and copyright of which is entitled to remedies. Consequently, the plaintiff claims against the defendants severally and jointly are as follows : An order compelling the defendants to pay the plaintiff the sum of N250 million as general damages for the infringement of his intellectual property and copyright. An order restraining the defendants and their agents from further infringing and selling of the plaintiff's work. The sum of N2 million being the cost of this suit. The presiding Judge, Justice Abdulazis Anka has adjourned till next week for further hearing.
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