The Nigerian Copyright Commission on Monday arrested 35 suspected pirates who were parading the street of Lagos with illicit copies of home videos and audio CDs.
The Lagos Zonal Director, Mr. Chris Nkwocha, told the News Agency of Nigeriain Lagos that the suspects contravened the Copyright Law of Section (38), Sub-section 1.
Nkwocha said the suspected pirates were arrested on the street of Iyana-Ipaja, Iyana-Oba, Ojo, Obalende and Oshodi respectively.
“The suspected pirates were arrested during our operations and are now in police custody. They will be charged to court after a thorough investigation for prosecution,” he said.
He said about 50,000 copies of CDs and DVDs estimated at about N2million were seized from the suspects.
Nkwocha said the anti-piracy raids were carried out in major markets and streets of Lagos, a commercial hub for pirates who sell unauthorised works.
“The raids were carried out based on complaint brought to the commission by Yoruba Movie Marketers Association.
“The commission had to speed up action to come to the aid of the association because piracy is a punishable offence in the copyright law.
“The commission has the right to arrest anyone who is involved in illegal copyright activity. We then ensure that such person goes to court for prosecution,” he said.
Nkwocha told NAN that the raids were successful with the assistance of officers of the Nigerian Army, the Police, the Lagos State Video Censors Board and that of Kick Against Indiscipline.
“In the course of the raids, operatives of the commission confiscated huge number of pirated CDs and DVDs from sellers on the street and in some popular markets around the city,” he said.
Nkwocha said the commission would not relent in its efforts until it brought piracy to the barest minimum or completely eradicated in the country.
He appealed to the Federal Government to support the commission with necessary funds for effective discharge of its mandate.