By Uche Amunike
Successful Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham, narrated on Tuesday that she has ended up in hospital on various occasions as a result of the piracy of her blockbuster movie, Malaika, by unscrupulous elements.
She made this disclosure to newsmen in Lagos after an announcement was made by the Nigerian Police Force, of the arrest of five suspects related to the movie in question, Malaika, which cost her a whopping N500 million naira to produce.
Recall that the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Alagbon, Ikoyi, in Lagos State, already confirmed that they have arrested five suspects which include two women over the alleged piracy of the said movie
Spokesperson for the department, ASP Aminat Mayegun, had paraded the suspects before newsmen at the FCID, Alagbon, Lagos. She stated that the suspects were involved allegedly in conspiracy, infringement on intellectual property, cyber related crimes concerning the unlawful use of cyberspace to broadcast the movie, as well as piracy.
According to her, Toyin Abraham and Seun Olayemi, who are co-producers of the blockbuster movie in question, Malaika, had lodged a criminal complaint on Thursday. They alleged that their latest movie, which was originally released for cinema viewing only on December 21st 2023, had been criminally pirated by some unscrupulous elements.
According to Mayegun, the complainants alleged that their movie was fraudulently and unlawfully assessed, uploaded on a website and also had a streaming web link created, for social media followers all over the world to freely view the movie.
She noted that the complainants also alleged that the suspects infringed on their intellectual rights, thereby denying them their movie profits while unlawfully profiting from it. Hear her: ‘Following the receipt of the petition, a joint investigation involving the Special Investigation Units of the Anti-Fraud and Cybercrime Sections of the Department was launched, while the unique intelligence and cybercrime assets of the Force were optimally deployed.’
She further stated: ‘Through these initiatives, the websites of origin of the crime were narrowed down to www.noregret.com.ng which was registered, owned and operated by one Lagos-based Kehinde Iyanda and www.naijajoy.com.ng owned and maintained by one Ogun State -based Adekunle Segun.’
She further stated that it was follow up coordinated actions by cracked detectives, further investigations on the case and these initiatives that aided the police in arresting the suspects.
Her words: ‘Follow-up coordinated actions by crack detectives on the case led to the apprehension of Kehinde Iyanda, the principal suspect and following the execution of a search warrant at his residence, a laptop, two phones and some certificates of business registration of companies linked to his offensive website and criminal activities were recovered.’
The police boss continued:’During the investigation, he indicated that the www.noregret.com.ng website which he utilized for the online piracy was designed for him for that purpose by Sodiq Adebiyi and that he has been receiving technical support from him in administering it.’
‘He additionally acknowledged that the website was, as alleged, utilized to pirate several movies including the ‘Malaika’ movie as alleged by the complainants.’
She gave the assurance that the AIG in charge of FCID, Alagbon, Idowu Omohunwa, has given his assurances that he is firmly determined to continue to cooperate with the movie industry actors in the Nigerian Copyright Commission to get rid of the criminal elements that engage an acts of piracy in order to flush them out of the system.09:35