By Benjamin Njoku
Aggrieved film director cum producer, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo who was recently accused by an up-and-coming actress, Boma Tubonimi Arinyedokiari of extorting money from her as well as compelling her to sign up a contract with him is not taking the grave allegations lightly.
In fact, the embattled director has petitioned the actress before the leadership of the Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN) and in a few weeks from now, the two parties will be summoned by the guild for interrogation.
Nonso told HVP over the weekend that his decision to take the matter to AGN court is to enable the actors’ body investigate the allegations carefully as well as recommend appropriate punishment for anybody that is found guilty of the offence.
“I have written officially to AGN, and they are investigating the matter. After their investigation, if they find me wanting, let them apply appropriate punishment due for me, and if she’s found wanting, let them punish her accordingly.” Nonso hinted angrily.
The director, who has produced several Nollywood flicks such as “Mad House”, “Odega” The Legend”, “Royal Madness”and the yet to be released “The Spirit Girl” said Boma was not the only actress that was signed on by his company.
According to him, actresses such as Mariam Orji, Rita Mbadua, and Mandy Eze passed through his agency without any hitch.
He explained that he decided to set up the agency as a way of helping the aspiring actors and actresses to realise their dreams in the industry.
“ Many young girls and boys are coming into the industry today without direction. I decided to introduce this concept of signing on artistes as a way of helping them to realise their dreams in the industry. I offer them an opportunity to be groomed by agency and thereafter I give them less than two years to hit stardom.”
“The first girl that signed on was Mariam Orji. Within two years, I exposed her to the industry and today, she is a star in her own right. She played lead roles in my two movies, “Royal Madness”and “Moonlight Girl”, featuring alongside notable actors like Jim Iyke, Majid Machel and Oge Okoye amongst others. I also signed on Rita Mbadua as she enjoyed similar exposure, the same thing goes to Mandy Eze. If I forced these actresses to sign up a contract with me, I don’t think I should have started with Boma because I have a history of doing that.
Meanwhile, contrary to Boma’s claim that she was influenced to sign the contract, the embattled director said she signed the contract voluntarily and without any iota of intimidation.
Two weeks ago, HVP scooped that one of the up-and-coming actresses based in Asaba, Boma Tubonimi Arinyedokiari accused the popular director of extorting the sum of N105,000,00 from her, in addition to spitting fire should she decides to breach the contract she entered with his company.