Man faces trial for pirating Nigerian Weekly Law Reports

A 37 years old Chidi Ofoekwe has been arraigned before a Federal High court, for allegedly pirating series of Nigerian Law Publications Limited publications.

The defendant is standing trial before Justice Sule Hassan led-court on 24 counts of the offences, by the men of State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (SCIID) Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

The police through its prosecutor, Barrister Emmanuel Eze, said the defendant who is a publisher of Legal Crest, committed the offences at his office located 1/3 Simpson Street, Lagos Island, Lagos, between January and August, 2017.

Among the Nigerian Law Publications Limited books allegedly pirated by the defendant includes: Comprehensive Index of Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (2015) Volumes 1 and 2; Nigerian Weekly Law Report part 335; Nigerian Weekly Report part 1482, 1491 and several others.

The offences according to the prosecutor, are contrary to and punishable under sections 20 (2) (a) of the Copy Rights Act Cap. C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charges and admitted to bail i n various terms.

Testifying before the court on Monday how the pirated copies of the books were discovered, Mr. Mojeed Ajao, Managing Director, Nigerian Law Publications Limited, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Barrister Eze, said: “I was working on investigation on 2015 comprehensive Index of Nigerian Weekly Law Report was pirated, some chambers that purchased the Index from Legal Crest.

“When we got to the Chambers we demanded for the receipt of 2015 Index, the Chambers gave us receipt which confirmed that they bought the 2015 Nigerian Weekly Law Report from Legal Crest. They also confirmed that the Index was bought from one of their staff from Legal Crest.

“Having got the information, we now proceed to make statements at the Lion Building Police Station, wherein I and other staff made our statements.

“After written our statements, the police the commenced their investigation, conducted their searches and arrested the defendant and charged him to court”.

The prosecution witness, Ajao, also identified his statement written at the police station which was tendered and admitted by the court as exhibit P1.

Further hearing of the matter has been adjourned till April 30, 2020.

Some of the counts of the charge marked FHC/L/253c/18, against the defendant reads: “that you Chidi Ofoekwe ”M” and others now at large between January and August, 2017 at Legal Crest Limited at No. 1/3 Simpsons Street, off lgbosere Road, Lagos Island in the Lagos Judicial Division did sell infringed copies Comprehensive Index of Nigerian Weekly Law Reports (2015) Volumes 1 and 2, in which copy right subsists in favour of Nigerian Law Publications Limited to Integrity Solicitors and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) of the Copy Rights Act Cap. C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you Chidi Ofoekwe ”M” and others now at large on the 0 same date, time and place in the aforesaid Judicial Division did expose and offer for sell infringing copy of Nigerian Weekly Law Report part 335 which copy right subsists in favour of Nigerian pose and offer for sell infringing copy of Nigerian Weekly Report part 1482 which copy right subsists in favour of Nigerian Law Publications Limited and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) of the Copy Rights Act Cap. C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you CHIDI Ofoekwe “M” and others now at large on the said date, time and place in the aforesaid Judicial Division did expose and offer for sell infringing copy of Nigerian Weekly Law Report part 1491 which copy right subsists in favour of Nigerian Law Publications Limited and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) of the Copy Rights Act Cap. C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“That you Chidi Ofoekwe ”M” and others now at large on the said date, time and place in the aforesaid Judicial Division did expose and offer for sell infringing copy of Nigerian Weekly Law Report part 1495 which copy right subsists in favour of Nigerian Law Publications Limited and thereby committed offence punishable under Section 20 (2) (a) of the Copy Rights Act Cap. C28 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.

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