The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) and HiTV last Wednesday raided offices of Communication Trends Limited (CTL) nationwide, owned by Uzo Udemba.
The raids took place at CTL offices in Benin, Owerri, Lagos, Enugu and Warri; and were based on petitions written to the NCC by HiTV, alleging piracy of its content, especially football.
Consequently, the signals of CTL was monitored by NCC in several locations across the country and evidence of the piracy of HiTV’s football content such as the Barclays Premier League, Carling Cup and UEFA Championship was obtained.
A joint statement issued by Akeem Aponmade, head of enforcement, NCC and HiTV’s Charles Ebuebu, read: “Several arrests of top CTL managers in all the locations were made and they have been taken to the command headquarters in all the states that they were arrested in.”
Evidence of the infringing items such as decoders, Al Jazeera Smartcards, Showtime smartcards, were recovered during the raid.
HiTV had last year dragged CTL to court over alleged piracy of its content, and the matter is currently still in court.
According to a statement released by HiTV, the matter that came up for hearing was CTL’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court as well as HiTV’s application for an interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants (CTL) and its privies from further infringing the rights of HiTV.
HiTV’s counsel O.A. Ajakpovi reiterated the fact that there has been further infringement after the court declined to grant an interim order against the defendant, which were all averred to in the further affidavit filed in the matter and thus, it would amount to an injustice if the defendant was not restrained, the statement continued.
The statement added that on being asked to confirm the position as stated above, CTL’s counsel denied that they were engaged in further infringement.