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Veno Marioghae, Airtel at War Over Copyright Infringement

Veno Marioghae
Veno Marioghae

May 09, (THEWILL) – It seems that the copyright infringement war between talented singer, Veno Marioghae-Mbanefo and one of the telecommunication giants in Nigeria, Airtel is far from coming to an end anytime soon.  The music act had instituted a lawsuit against the company for the unauthorised use of her song, Nigeria Go Survive, which was released in the 80’s. Marioghae-Mbanefo had released the song when the country was passing through an economic crisis as a result of crashing oil price, corruption, infrastructure decay and brain drain. Late Nollywood icon, Enebeli Elebuwa was featured in the video as Andrew who wanted to check out of the country.

The song became an instant hit as it encouraged those willing to scamper abroad for greener pastures to stay and build their country. Marioghae-Mbanefo slammed a suit on the telecommunication company for using her 37 years old song to promote and advertise, The Voice Nigeria, a singing reality show sponsored by the telecommunication company. The singer demanded the sum of N50 million for the unauthorised commercial and derogatory use of music.  According to the musician, her song was used without her permission which amounts to stealing and willful deprivation. She demanded that Airtel cease any further infringement on her copyright and pay the huge sum of money as compensation. However, the telecommunication company denied the allegations. According to the head of legal services of Airtel, Joachim Okere, he described the singer’s claim as a defamatory statement geared at damaging the company’s reputation. They demanded an apology or a retraction letter and also threatened legal actions.