Lawyer Raphael Irenen Debunks Royalty Claims for Viral Police Officer’s Voice in Asake’s Song

Lawyer Raphael Irenen Debunks Royalty Claims for Viral Police Officer’s Voice in Asake’s Song

Lawyer Asserts Police Officer’s Lack of Royalties from Asake’s Song

Entertainment lawyer Raphael Irenen recently clarified that Helen Utabor, the viral police officer, isn’t eligible for any earnings from Afrobeats sensation Asake.

Utabor gained recognition after a video of a driver zooming off with her, exclaiming, “Epp me, epp me… he dey carry me go where I no know,” went viral in 2022.

Background of the Controversy

The incident involving Utabor gained attention when comedian I Go Save shared her plight after she was injured while directing traffic in Edo State. Asake, the Nigerian artist, contributed N5 million for her medical care, sparking debates about compensating her for lending her voice to his song “Peace be unto you.”

Legal Explanation on Copyright

Raphael Irenen, during his appearance on Arise TV’s Good Morning Show, highlighted the Nigerian Copyright Act, which covers various works, including writing, music, broadcasting, and audiovisual productions. He specified that the viral video fell into the audiovisual category.

Lawyer’s Verdict on Royalties

When questioned about Utabor’s entitlement to royalties, Irenen stated, “Looking at the provisions of the law, the simple answer is No.”

He explained that copyright, as per the Nigeria Copyright Act, generally belongs to the author, emphasizing that Asake used only her voice, not the video itself.

Clarification on Ownership

Irenen highlighted the absence of an agreement granting Utabor ownership or rights over the video.

He underscored that if the lady’s voice was removed, making it a standalone item, Asake used solely her voice and not the video content itself for his song.

Lawyer’s Tweet Reiterating Legal Position

In a tweet, Irenen reiterated that despite her voice sample used in the song, Utabor isn’t entitled to any royalties. He clarified that her voice was taken from the video, not the video itself, for the song.

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