Daily Trust

NCC docks 7 over book piracy

- From Ade­lanwa Bamg­boye, La­gos Crime · Nigeria · Pirates · Umuahia · Aba

Seven book piracy sus­pects ar­rested dur­ing an en­force­ment op­er­a­tion by the Nige­ria Copy­right Com­mis­sion (NCC) have been ar­raigned at the Fed­eral High Court 1, Umuahia, Abia State.

The de­fen­dants, Em­manuel Onye­jekwe, Ifeanyi Okoro, Ejike Alozie, Emenike Owunna, Ihueze Kyr­ian, Ebuka Emecheta and Echezona Nwachukwu, were ar­raigned on Oc­to­ber 9, 2020, be­fore Hon. Jus­tice E. N. Anyadike on dif­fer­ent counts of crim­i­nal in­fringe­ment of the Copy­right Act 2004.

The seven pleaded not guilty to their charges, and the eighth ac­cused per­son, Nnadozie Igwe, is yet to be ar­raigned.

A three-count charge prof­fered against four of the de­fen­dants, Em­manuel Onye­jekwe, Ifeanyi Okoro, Ejike Alozie and Emenike Owunna, were, im­por­ta­tion of in­fring­ing copies of lit­er­ary works in which copy­right sub­sists with­out au­tho­ri­sa­tion con­trary to Sec­tion 20(1), (b) of the Copy­right Act, 2004; sell­ing, ex­pos­ing or of­fer­ing for sale in­fring­ing copies of work in which copy­right sub­sists con­trary to Sec­tion 20(2) (a) of the Copy­right Act 2004 and be­ing in pos­ses­sion, other than for pri­vate or do­mes­tic use, in­fring­ing copies of works in which copy­right sub­sists con­trary to Sec­tion 20(2)(c) of the Copy­right Act 2004.

Oth­ers, Ihueze Kyr­ian, Ebuka Emecheta and Echezona Nwachukwu, were ar­raigned on a two-count charge of: “Sell­ing, ex­pos­ing or of­fer­ing for sale in­fring­ing copies of work in which copy­right sub­sists con­trary to Sec­tion 20(2) (a) of the Copy­right Act 2004,” and “Be­ing in pos­ses­sion, other than for pri­vate or do­mes­tic use in­fring­ing copies of works in which copy­right sub­sists con­trary to Sec­tion 20(2) (c) of the Copy­right Act 2004.”

The ac­cused were granted bail with two sureties each. Hear­ing in the cases of Em­manuel Onye­jekwe, Ifeanyi Okoro, Ejike Alozie and Emenike Owunna was ad­journed to Novem­ber 25, 2020, while the cases of Ihueze Kyr­ian, Ebuka Emecheta and Echezona Nwachukwu were ad­journed Novem­ber 24, 2020.

The ar­raign­ment of the ac­cused per­sons was a fol­lowup ac­tion on NCC’s anti-piracy raid car­ried out in Aba, Abia State, on Oc­to­ber 8, 2019, dur­ing which eight book piracy sus­pects were ar­rested.

Thirty-five thou­sand pi­rated books val­ued at N70m were im­pounded dur­ing the op­er­a­tion.

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