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Photographer drags 2face, wife to court, demands N120m over breach of agreement

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A certain photographer identified as Mr. Emmanuel Okolo has sued Nigerian music legend, 2face and his wife, Annie Idibia, demanding for the sum 120 million naira over abuse of his intellectual property.

Okolo who filed the suit alongside his company, Papilonmexy Films Studios Limited, before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal high court in Lagos, alleged that 2face and Annie copyrighted photographs he took at the couple’s wedding as ‘2faceonline.com’, thus denying him credit.

Channels Television reports the photographer claimed that he was denied referral opportunities as the duo personalized about 148 out of the 355 high resolution photographs and uploaded them on ‘2face’s official website.’

According to the report, Okolo also claimed that Annie had contacted him to request for the pictures he had taken at their traditional wedding in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in 2013, but had complained about the watermark of Papilomenxy studios reflecting on them.

According to the photographer who described himself as a certified film maker from the prestigious London Film Academy and a holder of a Masters of Arts degree from Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, South Wales, United Kingdom, Annie later sent her husband to negotiate with the photographer on the terms that the photographs could be released without watermarks.

Okolo claimed to have suffered general and exemplary damages for which he is seeking 120 million Naira compensation from the defendants.

Meanwhile, it was claimed that 2Face had also made an attempt to persuade Okolo to release the pictures without the watermark.

The photographer eventually agreed, but insisted that the copyright be credited to his company.

Okolo has now claimed that the terms of the signed agreement have been breached, hence, he has now sued the couple.

Reports further claim that 2Face and his wife have eventually come out to debunk the photgrapher’s claim.

According to them, the photographer had attended their wedding uninvited, stating that shortly after the ceremony, they noticed pictures of themselves on the internet with Okolo’s company’s name on them.

They claimed that the photographer crashed into the venue of their traditional wedding, took pictures and circulated same for commercial gains without their permission.

They said Okolo forced the pictures on them stating that he would like to use their influence to gain brand patronage. They agreed that they will collect the pictures on the condition that he removes the watermark, which he allegedly accepted.

The couple, however, urged the judge to order Okolo and his studio, Papilonmexy Films Studios Limited, to pull down all the photographs of them that had been circulated.

They also urged Justice Idris to dismiss the photographer’s suit but also filed a counter-claim wherein they are demanding 150 million damages from him and his studio.

They prayed the court to order Okolo and his studio to “render forthwith, account as well as make full and frank disclosure of all sums and profit made by them as a result of unauthorised commercial usage” of their photographs.

The defendants, who subsequently accused the photographer of having a premeditated plan to blackmail and extort money from them, are demanding the said amount as damages and also, an order of perpetual injunction restraining Okolo and his studio from further using their photographs for commercial gain.

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