Popular Nollywood Actress, Ann Njemanze has filed a lawsuit of 50 million naira against the ace producer, Zeb Ejiro and two others for copyright infringement over the soon-to-be-released movie ‘Domitilla: The Reboot’.
Domitila is a sequence to the 1996 blockbuster of the same name produced by Zeb Ejiro with Ann Njemanze playing the lead role.
Njemanze trademarked the name, ‘Domitilla’ on September 16, 2020. This was the same year that Zeb Ejiro Productions, FilmOne Entertainment, and Omoni Oboli’s Dioni Vision announced plans to make a sequel to the original movie.
In suit number FHC/L/CS/2305/2022, the actress, through her lawyer, Bartholomew Aguegbodo is also seeking ₦5 million for the cost of litigation and lawyers fees incurred, as well as for an order of injunction restraining the defendants or any other person from using her trademark (Domitila) or any other mark that is deceptively similar to the registered trademark.
Responding to this, veteran filmmaker, Zeb Ejiro served the actress with a countersuit for ₦500 million.
“We will be asking her for ₦500m for using confidential information that she has access to during her role as an actress in the production of ‘Domitilla’ 1 and 2.”
Speaking with newsmen, Ejiro mentioned that he had offered Ann a sum of five million naira unknown to him that she had gone to copyright the name.
“I offered her ₦5m, not knowing she had gone behind me to trademark my intellectual property. I have been using the name for a long time. I have taken ‘Domitilla’ to film festivals all over the world. We had to abandon the script and start a new script. The next thing was she came with the police calling a thief in public. She even went with the police to FilmOne, our partner, to search their office. I tried to reach out to her, but she refused to pick up my calls. I had to ask the heads of different guilds to intervene.”
He also revealed that he did offer Ann a role in the remake.
“Now it’s time for a reboot, but because she is now much older, we decided to give her a role as the aunt to one of the characters, but she was asking for ₦17m for only five scenes.”
The reboot of ‘Domitilla’ is set to be released early next month. Like the original, it follows sex workers, four in particular—Ekwutosi, Fisayo, Promise, and Madam Vee—and the choices they make and the domino effects of their choices.