Singer Ewa Cole files a N300M lawsuit against Funke Akindele and ex- husband JJC Skillz for copyright

  • Ewa Cole has filed a lawsuit against JJC Skillz and Funke Akindele for copyright infringement of her songs in the movie “She Must Be Obeyed.”
  • SceneOne Entertainment is the producer of “SHE Must Be Obeyed,” co-directed by Funke Akindele and her ex-husband JJC Skillz.
Singer Ewa Cole files a N300M lawsuit against Funke Akindele and ex- husband JJC Skillz for copyright

Singer Ewa Cole has sued director Funke Akindele and music executive JJC Skillz for copyright infringement of her songs in the movie “She Must Be Obeyed.”

“SHE Must Be Obeyed,” co-directed by Funke Akindele and her ex-husband JJC Skillz, is produced by SceneOne Entertainment.

Mike Ezuronye, Patience Ozokwo, Rachael Okonkwo, Waje, Abdulateef Adedimeji, Nancy Isime, Veeiye, and Akah Nnani were among the cast members of the five-part series that garnered attention and went viral.

But through her attorney Adewale Williams, Ewa Cole claimed ownership of the rights to “Opoor” and “Bhad Garl,” two of the songs allegedly sampled in “SHE Must Be Obeyed,” in a case brought before the Federal High Court of Lagos.

Tony Ugiagbe (Topage), Waje, Veeiye, Amazon Web Services Nigeria Ltd. (BoomPlay), Amazon Web Services Inc., and Apple Inc. are among the defendants in the case.

Ewa Cole said that Waje and Veeiye copied “Bhad Gyal” and “Opoor” when Topage, the song producer, informed her that her compositions had been rejected.

She claimed that the tunes were duplicated without “permission or approval” and that she was not given any credit.

“Sometime in June 2021, Our Client was contacted by one Mr Fony a.k.a Tony Age to produce soundtracks for the movie “She Must Be Obeyed” series being produced by Scene One production, Funke Akindele and her crew at that material time. The movie starred several celebrities like Veeiye (as Tito); Waje (as X-cite)}; Shaffy Belfo as Iya Siyanbola, amongst others,” the petition reads.

“Our brief revealed that after writing and recording the two songs, “Bhad Gyal” and “OPOOR” in a music studio with the aid of Mr. Tony a.k.a Tony Age (who was working with the “She Muse Be Obeyed” crew as that time), she handed over the tracks to him with the understanding that Funke Akindele and her crew will reach out to her for payments and recognition.

“After weeks of waiting, Our Client received the sad news that her songs had been rejected and would no longer be deployed in the production of the series only for Our Client to shockingly discover thereafter that she has been lied to and scammed, and that her songs were REPRODUCED by Waje and Veeiye and deployed for the production of the said movie without Our Client’s permission or approval or any credit to her. The “Bhad Gyal’ song was mimed by Waje while on stage in the movie, whilst the OPOOR song ran through the background of the entirety of the series.

“The “She Must Be Obeyed” series released in September 2023 and premiered by Amazon Prime Video is now been watched around the globe and generating several revenues for Amazon, Apple Music, BoomPlay, Funke Akindele, and her crew without even the least recognition of Our Client as the author of those songs.”

Ewa Cole also requests N300 million in damages for what she describes as labor infringement.

She asked the court to issue a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from copyrighting, performing, or redistributing her musical compositions.

She further pleaded with the court to give the defendants a forty-five percent share of all proceeds from the usage, performance, recording, and retailing of the two songs.

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