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Model Sues Wema Bank Over Intellectual Property Infringement

Nneoma Anosike
Nneoma Anosike

Miss Nneoma Anosike, a Nigerian model has dragged Wema Bank plc before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over alleged infringement on intellectual property.

21 year old  Nneoma who is a 2014 brand Ambassador of Pepsi Cola Nigeria, sued through her father, Mr Frank Anosike, as lawful Attorney, claiming the sum of N75 million against Wema, as general damages for passing off her services.

The plaintiff who is based in America is claiming the sum of N20 million as damages for breach of her privacy, by advertising her photograph without her consent and special damages of N2million as cost of action, plus 21 percent interest on sum.

Besides, she is seeking a declaration that she is entitled to her privacy and those of her correspondences, under section 37 of the 1999 constitution.

Anosike also seeks a public apology from the defendant, to be advertised in National dailies circulating in the U.S and Nigeria.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the sole witness for the plaintiff, Mr Frank Anosike, continued his examination in chief.

Led in evidence by his lawyer, Mr Gideon Okebu, Anosike told the court that his daughter entered into a three years management contract with an international firm, named Ford Model Incorporated New York, in 2014.

He said that the plaintiff was granted an American Visa through the instrumentality of Ford, following which she travelled from Nigeria to the United States, to continue her career solely under Ford.

According to the witness, on April 11, 2016, his daughter was requisitioned to attend a meeting with the board of Ford where she was presented with photographic advert of her picture from Instagram, which was photo-edited by Wema bank and further advertised on their website.

He said that his daughter’s picture was used for the advert with the bank’s corporate logo beside her face and the words, “Be yourself, Everyone else is taken”

According to him, this projection of his daughter by the bank was with the aim of projecting their value and good will using the fame and popularity of the plaintiff.

He said that this act of the defendant, constituted a breach of his daughter’s agreement with Ford Model, as it has caused a retraction of contract extension by the firm.

Justice Ibrahim Buba has adjourned until Nov. 20 for cross examination of the witness.

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