An Abuja-based law firm, Felix, Igelige & Associates, represented by Barrister Rockson A. Igelige, has accused Daily Sun of the illegal and criminal publication of a photograph of Miss Akinyemi Temitope, a Polytechnic student in the newspaper’s May 25, 2016 edition on its ‘Sun Girl’ page and is demanding N500 million as damages for copyright infringement and illegal publication and another N500 million for invasion of privacy through the publication without the prior permission of the owner.
Recall that in that edition, Daily Sun published the photograph of Miss Akinyemi Temitope, a student of Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Delta State, with the name Sadiyat’ and telephone number 09057312447 in the dating ‘Sun Girl’ page, a publication that she alleged caused her embarrassment and emotional trauma from the break-up of her five year old relationship.
A statement signed by Mr. Rockson A. Igelige, a University of Westminster, London trained Entertainment Lawyer, on behalf of the law firm and addressed to The Editor, Daily Sun, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh on 31st May, 2016, and entitled ‘INFRINGEMENT OF THE COPY RIGHT AND DEROGATORY USE OF MISS AKINYEMI TEMITOPE`S PHOTOGRAPH AND INVASION OF HER PRIVACY BY YOUR PUBLISHING COMPANY', stated, “We act as solicitors to Miss. Akinyemi Temitope, a student of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, Delta State (our client) and we write this letter on her behalf.
“Our client is the author and copyright owner of the photograph that your publishing company used on page 3 (three) of the Daily Sun of 25/5/2016 at volume 12 at Number 3413 bearing the name ‘SADIYAT’ with the Telephone No. 09057312447 under the heading SUN GIRL.
“Our client does not bear such name as ‘Sadiyat’ and she does not use that mobile number. The image in that photograph is our client and it was our client that created that photograph which by extension is the copyright owner of that photograph your Publishing Company used as mentioned above without her permission, consent or authorization.
The letter further stated; “Our client’s attention has been drawn to your use, without permission or licence of her artistic work (photograph). Specifically, you have appropriated the work as a photograph in your Daily Sun of 25/5/16 at page 3 with the heading SUN GIRL in your volume 12 No. 3413 publication and have sold same to your customers nationwide. This artistic work (photograph) of our client can also be downloaded from your website too at www.sunnewsonline.ng.
Igelige indicts the newspaper: “By not obtaining our client’s prior permission, consent or license before engaging in this act, your company’s conduct amounts to flagrant and deliberate infringement and derogatory use of her copyright as well as invasion of her privacy.
This unauthorized publication and illegal appropriation of her copyright has caused our Client serious embarrassment that has led to the break-up of her relationship of well over five years. Our client is now being treated as a public outcast by her friends and school mates”.
Among other things, the law firm of Felix, Igelige & Associates is demanding:
That Daily Sun pays N500 million for the unauthorized and derogatory use of her artistic work (photograph).
That Daily Sun pays to another sum of N500, 000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million Naira only) for the deliberate and unauthorized invasion of her privacy and causing her serious embarrassment, emotional trauma and break up of her relationship with her fiancé.
The law firm gave Daily Sun seven days’ notice to respond to its letter of demand .
Speaking to Firstng on the latest development, Igelige said, "we have to take the case to NCC when we waited well over seven days for DailySun's response. We trust NCC will take the next step to restore our client's infringed rights after our scheduled meeting".