Corruption allegation: Okoroji replies Tuface
The Chairman of the Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji, has responded to recent allegations of corruption made against the body by Nigerian singer, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2Baba or Tuface.
According to Okoroji, people should not believe everything they read on social media.
In an email to Saturday Beats, while reacting to 2baba’s accusation, the COSON boss described the artiste as someone he has great respect for. He added that he believed the singer was only taking sides with his manager, Efe Omorogbe, who also had an eye on the COSON chairmanship, describing it as understandable.
“I consider Tuface to be my friend. Until the Efe matter, Tuface had treated me with the utmost respect and never said anything negative about me. I can understand his situation. Efe is his manager. I believe he thinks he needs to show solidarity. I fully understand.”
Further speaking on the division that has rocked the organisation in recent times, Okoroji noted, “COSON is now most likely Nigeria’s biggest organisation in the creative sector with thousands of members. Something would be wrong if there are no divisions from time to time but please do not ‘swallow’ much of what you find on social media. If you come to COSON House tomorrow, you will find an organisation busy at work. COSON is working.
“We must ensure continued fairness and the rule of law. There are those who suggest that you (should) bring someone to the head table because he is a troublemaker and that you cut a big slice of the cake that he does not ordinarily merit and give to him to keep him quiet. In other words, you reward him for being a troublemaker. That is an invitation to chaos. It never works. In every decent society, people pay a price for what they do.”
On Monday, May 20, 2019, music stars from different states across the country converged in Lagos for the 9th Annual General Meeting of Copyright Society of Nigeria and also the election of new members on the board of director.
Prior to the election, Okoroji, whose term in office expired at the AGM, had stepped down both as Chairman and as a Director. He was subsequently unanimously re-elected by the General Assembly in an election.
Few days after Okoroji’s re-election, 2baba took to his Instagram page to accuse COSON of corruption. He posted a picture on his verified Instagram that stated; “COSON office security spend: 2017- N1m; 2018- N31m. How e take happen (sic).”
The African Queen singer further captioned the picture with these words, “From the figures shared recently, COSON has lost about N250m to the crisis that erupted with the December 7, 2017 sacking of Chief Tony Okoroji as ‘chairman’. The society collected N200m less than the sum of the previous year and spent over N50m on lawsuits and office security within the year.
“Simple compliance with the NCC’s directives or submission to the wide call for an independent audit to prove the innocence of the directors against allegations of financial misconduct may have saved COSON at least, N230m, that’s assuming the audit cost N20m. To worsen issues, the licence don kuku expire sef (sic) making it criminal for COSON to demand and collect royalties on behalf of members. Then today we see this: ‘With respect to the COSON mandate to carry on its operations … COSON has been assured by its team of lawyers that with the various issues still awaiting determination at various courts and with the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, no one has the power to unilaterally stop the operations of COSON.’ ‘Lawyers’, ‘various issues’, ‘various courts’ because of a simple forensic audit? Musician work, lawyer and police chop everything finish. My people, no be one chance we don enter so o? If you ask me, na who I go ask (sic)?” Punch