Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday ordered two recording companies to pay N500m as damages to popular Nigerian juju musician, Sunday Adeniyi, popularly known as King Sunny Ade, for infringing on his work.
The judge also ordered the payment of N3m costs for prosecuting the suit.
Sunny Ade had in a 41 paragraph statement claimed to have in 1970 entered into a five-year agreement with the first defendant to reproduce the said works and sell under its record label.
According to him, upon the expiration of the agreement period in 1975, the defendant refused to return to him the master tapes of the songs despite repeated demands from its then from the CEO, Chief Bolarinwa Abioro who is now dead.
In the statement of claim, a judgment was delivered in favour of the musician in 1975 but the master tape was not returned until the owner of the two musical records died.
The defendants in the suit are African songs Limited; Take Your Choice Records Store Limited, Lati Alagbada Nigeria and Records Manufacturers of Nigeria Limited among others.
Sunny Ade in 1997 filed another suit against the companies at the Federal High Court.
He sought damages in the sum of N3billion from the defendants for alleged copyright infringement on 43 works categorized as singles, extended, series and others.
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