Following months of preparation, promotion and an international screening at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival(TIFF), Popular filmmaker, Omoni Oboli suffered a setback as she was served a court injunction yesterday; an hour before the Nigerian premiere of her movie – ‘Okafor’s Law’. Following the injunction which was served Omoni Oboli, Dioni Visions and Filmone Distribution, the scheduled screening of “Okafor’s Law” did not hold.
The lawsuit was filed by a third party over allegations that she infringed on a writers intellectual property. The writer, Canada-based, Jude Idada had in 2016 accused Omoni Oboli of lifting his script which he said she adapted for her yet-to-be-released movie titled “Okafor’s Law”
Addressing the invited guests at the IMAX Cinema, the filmmaker broke down in tears as she addressed guests, stating, that the script and movie were created ‘100 %’ by her.
She further described the court injunction as bullying and abuse of the law.
She was joined on the stage by Mo Abudu, Olajumoke Adenowo, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Chioma Chukwuka, Ufuoma McDermott among others.
While speculations are rife about the ongoing legal battle between the filmmaker and the writer; one thing is for sure, many observers are eager to see how this ends;especially as this is the first time a matter of this nature (in Nollywood) made its way to court in Nigeria.
In the past, others had pointed accusing fingers at other filmmakers, for plagiarizing scripts & content or even non payment of fees for a story/script; all that back and forth usually ended on social media or the pages of newspapers.
This however, takes a different turn as both parties must now prove that the story & script are original to them and were developed by them.
This saga is definitely a reminder for people to respect original ideas and avoid cases where they can be indicted.