By ANOZIE EGOLE
The fight against piracy in Nigeria took a new twist during the week as the National Film and Video Censor Board, NFVCB, raided some major film markets in Lagos. They include Idumota, Balogun, and some parts of the South- West part of the country such as Osun, Ogun, among other states in a bid to arrest and prosecute culprits.
Head of Monitoring and Enforcement of NFVCB, Mr Joseph Ejike, said that the exercise was part of the ongoing exercise by the board to prevent uncensored films from being sold in the open market.
“It is part of the ongoing assignment of the board to raid the markets of illegal and uncensored films. This has been going on for weeks now and we have visited places like Osun state, Oyo, Ibadan and we have stormed some markets in Lagos including Oshodi, Balogun, Idumota among others. We have even closed down some shops. We made some arrests and we are charging them to court very soon.”
“We started from the North-East. Most of the claims by the traders are empty. The activities of the online people have also been brought to our notice and we are working with NCC to know how to deal with that. We have also introduced, National Enhance Exhibition Distribution System, NEEDS, to fight against the online piracy and uncensored films. Pornography movie is a serious offence and anybody caught will be arrested and charged to court,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of the traders at the popular Idumota market, Okey Emma, said that they are not aware of any law guiding the sales of movies. “I am not aware of any law against selling of films and pornographic movies. We buy the films from Alaba and I have been into this business for the past four years now. We have a union called Music Advertising of Nigeria,MAN, that is the only one I know and that’s where we all belong.
We have zone by zone and I belong to Idumota branch of the organization. We have been selling our films here and I do not know it is an offence. Nobody have educated us about the copyright law. We also sell music CDs. If they had enlightened us about the law and licensing, then we would have all adhered to it strictly,”he stated.