Sammie called on government to register another CMO to break COSON’s monopoly.
The General Manager of the Copyright Society Of Nigeria, COSON, Chinedu Chukwuji, has said the organisation is yet to receive any resignation letter from musician, Sammie Okposo.
Sammie Okposo was quoted in various reports as saying he was quitting the COSON, a Collective Management Organisation, CMO, over accountability in the distribution of royalties to artistes; an allegation the general manager denied.
In a statement made available to journalists, Chukwuji said the pop-gospel singer has not availed himself the opportunity of visiting the COSON office and is clearly unfamiliar with the quality of personnel, the technology and processes put to work at COSON.
“COSON has thousands of members and hundreds of thousands of affiliates. We do not join issues with our members on the pages of newspapers and certainly not with Sammie Okposo, whom I consider a personal friend.
“Since Sammie has made his statement public, we have a duty to clear any misconceptions about COSON before they become accepted as facts,” he said.
The manager said he finds it curious that Sammie had to issue a public statement about withdrawing his membership of COSON at a time when the organisation is engaged in a ‘historic struggle to liberate the Nigerian creative industry from servitude.’
He said Sammie “has unlimited access to me and I believe he is a very close friend of the Chairman. I have asked our Chairman if Sammie ever complained to him and his answer was negative. Sammie never asked me for any information that was not provided to him. I cannot remember seeing Sammie at any COSON meeting and he has not been to the COSON office to ask any question”.
Addressing royalty payments, Chukwuji said that the process of royalty payments at COSON is fully transparent.
According to him, “COSON is probably the only CMO in the world where the entire members’ debate and vote to approve every royalty distribution scheme. Elsewhere, management devises the royalty scheme and implements it. Every member of COSON who has issues with his/her royalty statement has the right to audit the process and this right has been exercised several times” Chukwuji also said Sammie should have been patient enough to hear the court ruling between Onyeka Onwenu and COSON in a defamation case before forming his opinion and taking actions based on Onyeka’s words.
On the issue of tenure of officers raised by Sammie, Chukwuji said that COSON, which is less than four years old, strictly follows the rules as laid out in its Articles of Association which limits the tenure of any Director to three years except re –elected.
According to him, the Chairman is first, a Director; and is bound by the same rules.
Sammie Okposo had said he called it quit with COSON based on three reasons: absence of limited time a chairman of the board of COSON can serve, lack of open process in the payment of royalties to artistes, and COSON’s recent activities of delving into Awards and competition which are activities that are not related to its core responsibilities.
The gospel artist also called on government to register another CMO to break COSON’s monopoly.