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Bookseller jailed for selling pirated copies of El-Rufai’s book

Lagos – A Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, on Wednesday, sentenced a book seller to three months imprisonment for selling pirated books.

The convict, Chibueze Akamu, a resident at No. 69, Owodunni St., Iwaya, Yaba, was charged by the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC).

He had pleaded guilty to a two-count charge of piracy and sale of pirated books.

Delivering judgment, Justice Saliu Saidu said: “Having pleaded guilty to the charge before this honourable court, the accused is hereby convicted as charged.

“The accused is sentenced to three months imprisonment on each count,’’ the judge said, noting that the terms would run concurrently.

The prosecutor, Mrs Lynda Alphaeus, had told the court that the accused was apprehended on April 25, at Oyingbo, Lagos.

She said the accused was caught at the bus stop, selling pirated copies of the book, “The Accidental Public Servant”, authored by former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

The bookseller, who had no legal representation, had pleaded with the court for mercy, saying that the books were supplied to him by a customer.

He said that he was not aware that they were pirated copies and begged the court to temper justice with mercy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the offences contravened the provisions of Section 20 of the Copyrights Act, 2004.

According to the section, anyone convicted of the offence shall be liable to a fine not exceeding N1,000 for every copy dealt with, or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or to both fine and imprisonment. (NAN)


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