A few days ago, a Lagos High Court ruled that veteran singer Onyeka Onwenu should pay the chairman, Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji a fine of N5 million in a defamation lawsuit.
In objection to Hon Justice I. O. Akinkugbe’s orders, Onyeka says the judgment came after an unfair hearing and is ready to file an appeal.
‘The judgment given by Justice Akinkugbe is most unfair and cannot stand. Throughout the trial, the plaintiff’s lawyer kept referring to the fact that I was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party and my appointment to office as Director General of the PDP but that I was serving under an APC Government,’ she told Punch.
Saying she was sure the judgment wouldn’t hold because ‘we were able to dismiss the allegations convincingly and unequivocally,’ the former Director General of the National Center for Women Development maintains she is willing to go any length in getting a fair ruling.
‘I will not apologise and I will not pay any fine. I am guilty of nothing. We have a country where one is allowed to pursue justice and, by God’s grace, justice will be served. If not by Justice Akinkugbe, then certainly by an Appeal Court or even the Supreme Court of Nigeria,’ she further said to the publication.
Onyeka however, says she holds no personal grudge against Tony Okoroji as her issues against him ‘have always been on issues of probity and fair play’.
‘I have been very much there for Okoroji for so long and in many more ways than I care to remember. I respect his intellect and I’ve said so on many fora, but I will not stand by and watch him attempt to destroy the very reputation that he has found and made use of personally and officially in the past. Some of us left the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria for him to run aground, in order to avoid his trouble. He is hoping we will do the same with regard to the Copyright Society of Nigeria. That wish will not be granted,’ she said.