At least six persons were arrested and goods worth N8.5 million impounded in Enugu at the weekend when the Nigeria Copyright Commission raided the popular Ogbette market environs in continuation of its fight against piracy.
Most of the items seized during the raid were optical discs, containing musicals and Nigerian made movies, duplicating machines as well as a printing press with which pirated books were being reproduced. The raid is coming on the heels of a recent attack on the commissions’ zonal staff that were beaten by hoodlums at the Garki area of Enugu.
Augustine Alewo Amodu, Head of Enforcement, Nigeria Copyright Commission, who led the commission, told newsmen after the raid that it was as a result of the increasing rate of piracy, which he said was taking over the whole country. Said he: “We try as much as possible to protect intellectual property and piracy is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of this nation, affecting the economy of this country. And I believe that if we cannot put a stop to piracy, the commission should be able to minimize it.
“We have had piracy raids in various places that have come out with similar results as recorded today. We were in the famous Ogbette market and various other places because we know that is where we have very serious pirated works being sold and equally being produced, especially optical discs.
“We had a scene in Enugu of late and that is why we captioned this ‘operation hit’; the issue we had in Enugu was that our staff were seriously attacked with very severe injuries inflicted on them, including the zonal manager of Enugu. We found out that hoodlums mixed up with pirates and they dealt that blow on the commission and that is why we are in Enugu today.
“The Nigeria Copyright Commission has gone extra mile under the leadership of the Director- General, Mr. Afam Ezekude, to check the activities of pirates and we have promised them enforcement, enforcement, enforcement; if the pirates don’t rest, we shall not rest; we have been in Enugu today and we have conquered.
“We have six suspects in Enugu today; four of them have to do with optical disc sales, one of them is a duplicator and the other one is a printer.“It is unfortunate that piracy is going on in a central place like Enugu and we appeal to the public to give the commission information on where there is suspected piracy in eastern Nigeria and Enugu.”