It was the king of all celebrations and the Lagos Airport Hotel Ikeja was practically on fire, when Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) recently marked its 5th anniversary as the nation’s sole Collective Management Organization for musical works and sound recordings. Stars of all shades stormed the venue for an event that will be remembered for a long time. Some of whom include, Ras Kimono, Capital F.E.M.I, KSB, Tuface Idibia, Konga, Bright Chimezie, Olu Maintain, Princess Anne Inyang, Majek Fashek, Sunny Neji, D’Lyte, Mr. Sam Onyemelukwe of Trace TV, Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; Mr. Francis Onwochie, Mr. Mahmood Ali-Balogun, Jenifer Eliogu, Edi Lawani, King Wadada, King Waleman, Mr. John Asein, Mr. Justin Zhag, CEO of Startimes amongst others.
The 5th anniversary celebration was characterized by the prestigious COSON Roll of Honour Ceremonies which is a celebration of individuals who had contributed greatly to the defense of the rights of creative people in Nigeria.
During the event, the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr. Emeka Mba was decorated with the Copyright Medal of Honour; the highest recognition that the music industry can give to any individual in acknowledgment of that person’s significant contribution to the promotion and defence of the rights of creative people in Nigeria. Mr. Mba was unanimously chosen by the COSON Board because of the historic role played by him and his commission in resolving the over four decade raging dispute between the music and broadcasting industries in Nigeria over the payment of music copyright royalties.
Several Nigerians who had distinguished themselves greatly in the promotions and defense of the rights of creative people in Nigeria were also celebrated and their names entered into the COSON Roll of Honour. Such individuals include veteran broadcaster, Mr. Mac Emakpore; Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. Afam Ezekude; multiple award winning music icon Tuface Idibia; show biz impresario, Mr. Edi Lawani; renowned saxophonist, Pa Chris Ajilo; music icon and Chairman of the COSON Advisory Board, Evang. (Dr.) Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi; COSON front liner, 89 year old Pa Emmanuel Ntia; music artiste and politician, Kenny St. Brown (KSB); renowned Chartered Accountant and member of COSON Advisory Council, Mr. Toju Ejueyitchie; the first Chairman of the then Nigerian Copyright Council (NCC), Prof. Egerton Uviegahara; Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; Highlife super star, Sunny Neji; Business man and President, Hotel Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA), Engr. Ekong Onofiok; renowned broadcaster, actor and director, Mr. Patrick Doyle; President of the Hotel & Personal Services Employers Association of Nigeria (HOPESEA), Chief Samuel O. Alabi; renowned Intellectual property lawyer and Professor of Law, Prof. Bankole Sodipo; veteran broadcaster, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo; Intellectual property lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige; music maestro, Prof. Sir. Victor Uwaifo, MON; COSON Licensing Consultant for the FCT, Mr. Segun Awosanya; COSON Licensing Consultant for Lagos state, Mr. Kazie Uko; quintessential Amazon of the Nigerian music industry, Erelu Morenikeji Okunowo; the first Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and Deputy Governor elect of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo; renowned journalist, Mr. Justin Akpovi Esade; CEO of Cellulant Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Goke Akingboro and CEO of GreenBee Mobile Ltd. Mr. Nnamdi Agwunobi.
The late Amaka Igwe was also entered into the COSON Roll of Honour for her exemplary leadership in ensuring that her TOP Radio 90.9FM station practiced paying for the music they broadcast without having being chased to do so. COSON founding staff member, the late Mrs. Patricia Oloruntoba was also entered into the COSON Roll of Honour for her dogged belief and unrelenting contributions to the COSON vision even when all looked bleak.
Speaking on the event, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “For us at COSON, this is significant. We look back at where we came from and are amazed at how much we have covered in such a short time. Today COSON has over 130 reciprocal agreements with collecting societies all around the world. We practically represent all known music in the world today. We also have music copyright agreements with the broadcast industry, the hotel industry in Nigeria and several other categories of music users in Nigeria today. COSON has become a flagship collecting society in Africa. We couldn’t have achieved all of these without the support of distinguished Nigerians to whom we are grateful. While we look back in thanksgiving at our journey so far, we look forward with determination and great zeal because we are resolved never to let down the creative minds in Nigeria. We want to assure them that they can sleep while COSON works.”
Also speaking COSON GM said, “Nobody gave us a chance when this all started but I am full of gratitude to the Almighty God that it’s been five years and we are still standing strong. I can say that COSON is the best run and most reliable organ in the Nigerian music industry today because we put our minds to it. Even though it’s been 5 years for us, this is just the beginning because the vision just got bigger and stronger”.
The well put together fête which was a culmination of the 5th COSON Annual General Meeting held in the same venue earlier on in the day had in attendance big wigs of the music industry, the broadcast industry, the hotel industry, renowned intellectual property lawyers, and friends of the society amongst others.