Singer, Ewa Cole Slams Funke Akindele, JJC Skillz With N300M Lawsuit Over Copyright Infringement

February 13th, 2024

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She requested that the defendants be barred from copyrighting, performing, or redistributing her musical compositions forever by a permanent injunction from the court.

Nigerian singer, Ewa Cole has slammed a 300M lawsuit on actress and filmmaker, Funke Akindele and music executive, JJC Skillz, for copyright infringement of her songs in the blockbuster movie, “She Must Be Obeyed.”

SceneOne Entertainment is the producer of “SHE Must Be Obeyed,” which was co-directed by Funke Akindele and her ex-husband JJC Skillz.

Nancy Isime, Abdulateef Adedimeji, Akah Nnani, Veeiye, Waje, Patience Ozokwo, Rachael Okonkwo, and Mike Ezuronye were among the cast members of the five-part series that made headlines and went viral.

However, in a case submitted to the Federal High Court of Lagos, Ewa Cole asserted her ownership of the rights to “Opoor” and “Bhad Garl,” two of the songs purportedly sampled in “SHE Must Be Obeyed,” through her attorney Adewale Williams.

Defendants in the action include Tony Ugiagbe (Topage), Waje, Veeiye, Amazon Web Services Nigeria Ltd. (BoomPlay), Amazon Web Services Inc., and Apple Inc.

Ewa Cole claimed that after Topage, the song producer, told her that her songs were rejected, Waje and Veeiye copied “Bhad Gyal” and “Opoor.”

She alleged that no credit was given to her and that the songs were copied without “permission or approval.”

“Sometime in June 2021, Our Client was contacted by one Mr Fony a.k.a Tony Age to produce soundtracks for the movie “She Must Be Obeyed” series being produced by Scene One production, Funke Akindele and her crew at that material time. The movie starred several celebrities like Veeiye (as Tito); Waje (as X-cite)}; Shaffy Belfo as Iya Siyanbola, amongst others,” the petition reads.

“Our brief revealed that after writing and recording the two songs, “Bhad Gyal” and “OPOOR” in a music studio with the aid of Mr. Tony a.k.a Tony Age (who was working with the “She Muse Be Obeyed” crew as that time), she handed over the tracks to him with the understanding that Funke Akindele and her crew will reach out to her for payments and recognition.

“After weeks of waiting, Our Client received the sad news that her songs had been rejected and would no longer be deployed in the production of the series only for Our Client to shockingly discover thereafter that she has been lied to and scammed, and that her songs were REPRODUCED by Waje and Veeiye and deployed for the production of the said movie without Our Client’s permission or approval or any credit to her. The “Bhad Gyal’ song was mimed by Waje while on stage in the movie, whilst the OPOOR song ran through the background of the entirety of the series.

“The “She Must Be Obeyed” series released in September 2023 and premiered by Amazon Prime Video is now been watched around the globe and generating several revenues for Amazon, Apple Music, BoomPlay, Funke Akindele, and her crew without even the least recognition of Our Client as the author of those songs.”

In addition, Ewa Cole demands N300 million in damages for what she claims to be labor infringement.

She requested that the defendants be barred from copyrighting, performing, or redistributing her musical compositions forever by a permanent injunction from the court.

In addition, she begged the court to grant the defendants a 45 percent cut of all earnings from the use, performance, duplication, and sale of the two songs.


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