The minister of information, culture and tourism Lai Mohammed has responded to allegations of plagiarism and intellectual property theft from the performing musician employers association of Nigeria (PMAN).
The minister who recently hosted a creative Nigeria summit on financing the creative industry recently described the allegation as laughable and promised to counter sue the body for defamation of character.
The musicians’ body had alleged that the minister’s creative summit is part of a proposal submitted to the minister on the 5th of August 2016 and faulted the ministry for going ahead to implement parts of its proposal without consulting with PMAN.
In a statement counsel to PMAN Ifeanyi Ejiofor, said “though the conference was deceptively tagged “creative industry financing conference”, it is our client’s firm belief that the conference was held in full implementation of our client’s original brain child and ideas as clearly highlighted in their respective presentation of 5th August 2016 and action plan of 18th August 2016, all in the possession of the ministry of information and culture.
“Our client viewed this action as a grave infringement of their intellectual property rights and dubious conversion of their brain child ideas and concept, originating from the painstaking professional study, research and investigation that gulped them over 500,000.”
Responding during an exclusive interview with Entertainment News on Channels Television, the minister believes he is well within his rights to host a conference of the creative industry.
“As a minister of information and culture, I can’t stop people coming to me with proposes,so when a supposedly reputable organisation as PMAN comes and says he wants to see the minister and he says we want to organise conferences on creative industry does that stop me as a minister from organising my own creative industry especially when you did not come to me with a blue print to show me how the conference will be.”
He further stated that he is at liberty to either take or reject any proposal submitted to his office.
“Even if PMAN’s proposal was visible, there was no way at that point in time that I could have asked them to go ahead to do it but where is the law that says that the minister must accept any or every proposal from a group.” He said
The minister has taken it a step further by suing PMAN for defamation of character,he said “so, your right to organise a conference is exclusive to one person or a person comes to you and say becuase he has given you a proposal that he wants to organise a creative conference so you as a minister you are stopped, or you can’t do your work”?.
“But I can assure you I have instructed my lawyers to sue them for defamation.” He said