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Movie marketers cry out over illegal arrests

Posted by By Azuh Amatus on 2008/08/05 | Views: 2529 |

Movie marketers cry out over illegal arrests


The national leadership of the Film Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) has called on President Umaru Yar’Adua to save them from the illegal arrests, intimidations and harassments by the National Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), who they alleged are working with the police.

The national leadership of the Film Video Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (FVPMAN) has called on President Umaru Yar’Adua to save them from the illegal arrests, intimidations and harassments by the National Film and Videos Censors Board (NFVCB), who they alleged are working with the police.

Speaking at a press briefing, held at the Festus Keyamo Chambers, Anthony Village, Lagos, Mr. Paul Chuks Okoli, the spokesman of the body said, the briefing was to inform Nigerians about the ugly development taking placing in the Nigerian Movie Industry, also known as Nollywood.

Reading through a prepared speech entitled: The unacceptable harassments and intimidations of our members by the Censors Board with the Police, which was signed by Emma Isikaku and Ugo Emmanuel, both National President and Secretary of the association respectively, Okoli said: " It is heart rending that over 90 per cent of those that built the movie industry, the only thing that has brought joy and glory to Nigeria and Nigerians, one of the things that made Africans proud all over the world, are being hounded into police cells like common criminals and we say this can only happen in Nigeria."

Continuing, Okoli, also a leading filmmaker and marketer maintained that they were not against the new distribution framework policy being proposed by Mr. Emeka Mba, the DG, of the Censors Board. "We are only against the way and manner they are going about it. We are against draconian policies that seek to extort and undermine the growth of the movie industry. Is it not ridiculous for instance, for Mr. Mba to impose N50 million for each marketer as a pre condition for license? Is it within the powers of the board to insist that every marketer should have a legal officer and an accountant? All these are happening when the case is yet to be settled in court," he pointed out.

While reacting on behalf of Mr. Emeka Mba, his Special Assistant, Mr. Obiora Chukwumba, refuted the story of the illegal arrests. "Over the weekend, the Joint Task Force on Film and Video business comprising the security agencies and our staff carried out arrests of illegal operators in film distribution in Lagos and Anambra States respectively." He further argued that the arrests were carried out to enforce the provisions of section 25(1) of CAP I40, laws of the federation, 1999.

He stressed that the position of the law is that any person engaging in distribution or exhibition of film without the license issued by the board is considered an outlaw and must be apprehended. "The board is acting in accordance with the law."
He said there was no controversy about the framework for distribution and exhibition, adding that over 20,000 businesses have been licensed under the framework and they are dominantly domiciled in Lagos.


"Find out if they paid N50 million each. People are generally resistant or not fully yielded to changes very easily."


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