Singer, Ewa Cole Files N300M Lawsuit Against Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz

Singer, Ewa Cole Files N300M Lawsuit Against Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz

Nigerian singer, Ewaoluwa Olatunji, better known as Ewa Cole has filed a lawsuit against music executive, JJC Skillz and Box Office Queen, Funke Akindele for copyright infringement of her songs in the movie “She Must Be Obeyed.”

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

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

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

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

Ewa Cole asserted that following rejection of her songs by Topage, the producer, Waje and Veeiye replicated “Bhad Gyal” and “Opoor.”

She claimed that her work was used without credit or authorization.

Ewa Cole Files N300M Lawsuit Against Funke Akindele and JJC Skillz

Part of the case file reads

“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.”

Furthermore, Ewa Cole is seeking N300 million in damages for what she alleges to be labour infringement.

She has requested a permanent injunction from the court to prevent the defendants from copyrighting, performing, or redistributing her musical compositions indefinitely.

Ewa Cole also asked the court to grant the defendants a 45 percent share of all proceeds generated from the use, performance, duplication, and sale of the two songs.

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