Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has fixed October 16, 2013 for the commencement of trial in a N120 million copyright suit filed against popular music star, Innocent Idibia, a.k.a. TuFace, his wife, Annie Idibia and their manager, Anthonio Anifite over photographs allegedly taken at the recent traditional wedding of the musician and his wife in Akwa Ibom State.
Abuja based photographer, Emmanuel Okolo, who is the plaintiff in the suit alongside his studio, Papilonmexy filed suit against the defendants.
He is asking for six reliefs, two of which include N100 million in general damages and N20million in exemplary damages. At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, neither TuFace nor his wife was represented in court. Anifite who is the second defendant was however represented by his counsel, J.O Uttute.
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued when the judge openly admonished Uttute after the latter claimed that he had filed his defense when he had not done so.
The judge warned him not to come to this court again if he was not prepared for the case. “You told me that you have filed your response, but looking through here, there is nothing to that effect. And you are even smiling. Do you think you are here to joke? Never come to this court again if you are not prepared. You don’t even know when the case was filed and you are not prepared for it,” said the judge.
Also, the plaintiff’s counsel, Habeeb Oredola expressed worry over the defendants’ inability to appear before the court or be represented by a counsel after they were served with the writs of summon.
In the right of summon, Okolo and his studio claimed they were contracted by TuFace’s wife through a third party, identified as Ms Chineze Anyaene to take photo shots at the traditional wedding held in Eket, Akwa Ibom state in March, 2013.
The plaintiff said, he was reluctant at the beginning since the offer was coming through a third party, but later accepted after he was convinced that the offer was actually with the blessing of the first defendant.
Annie Idibia was said to have later contacted the photographer after the wedding and demanded for the printing of 10 of the high resolution pictures taken.