By Onozure Dania
A MEDIA outfit, Delphi Media Consulting Nigeria Limited, DMCN, has filed a N100million suit against Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, NIIA and its Director General, Prof Bola Akinferinwa, over alleged illegal conversion of intellectual property belonging to the firm on international brainstorming session on migration and terrorism in West Africa.
In the suit with No. FHC/I/CS/1676/14, before a Federal High Court, Lagos, the plaintiff, claimed that in 2012, it conceived an idea on a project tagged: “International security summit on Migration and terrorism in West African challenges” and presented the concept to the first defendant who is a National agency involved in promoting research and knowledge with international repute.
The claimant in an 18 paragraphs affidavit in support of the motion averred that after both parties had several meetings on the project concept, the list of target groups, speakers and possible sponsors which the defendants agreeing to be institutional partners in carrying out the idea, which solely belongs to the claimant.
The company claimed that the two parties agreed on the title, but that the defendants went behind it to execute the project in Abuja between July 24 to 25 2013 under the name “15 special brainstorming session on migration and terrorism in West Africa”, without its consent giving false impression of ownership of the idea.
The plaintiff stated that after the programme, a sum of N14million was allegedly generated from sponsors for the actualisation of the project, adding, that it generated the fund to ensure that the defendants did not use their own resources for the project.
It further stated that the sum of N10million was approved by the second defendant as working budget and the said sum was used by the second defendant and its agents to operate the project which up till now the defendants have refused to render account to the plaintiff being co-partner in the project and who solely provided the sum of N14million,as to how the money was spent.
“The defendant spent the sum of N5million unilaterally and claimed falsely that it was spent on accommodation and transportation, on August 19, 2013, the plaintiff through its solicitor Chijioke Ndubuisi wrote to the defendants to account and refund the sum of N5m misappropriated to the plaintiff, again on September 20, 2013 the plaintiff’s solicitor sent final demand notice of return of N5m and sundry claim to the defendants, the letter was treated with contempt, without responding to it and rebuffed all attempts to secure the money.”
The plaintiff is therefore, asking for an order requesting the defendants to furnish the plaintiff with the whole account of execution of the project as well as a declaration that it is the bonafide owner of intellectual property attached to international brainstorming session on Migration and Terrorism concept project anchored by the defendants in Abuja.