...By Larry John for TDPel Media.
A Lagos High Court situated at the Tafawa Balewa Square has granted permission to the Isale Eko Descendants Union to pursue legal action compelling the Lagos State Video and Films Censors Board to impose a N10 billion fine against the producers of the movie ‘Gangs of Lagos’.
The fine is sought due to the alleged wrongful depiction of Isale Eko as a den of criminals and the Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers.
Court Permits Judicial Review and Mandamus Application
Furthermore, the court has authorized the Isale Eko’s descendants to initiate a judicial review process and apply for an order of mandamus.
This order would direct the Attorney General of Lagos State and the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board to take action against the film producers under the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State.
Presiding Judge’s Decision
Justice Idowu Alakija, the presiding judge, recently granted leave for judicial review based on an ex-parte application.
The application was made under section 3 of the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State and Order 44 Rule 3 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules.
The leave was granted after hearing arguments presented by the Counsel for Isale Eko Descendants Union and two other parties involved.
Applicants and Allegations
The applicants include the Isale Eko Descendants’ Union, Chief Ayodele Bajulaiye (representing the Bajulaiye Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Bajulaiye), and Chief Abdul-Waheed Ayeni (representing the Sasore Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Sasore).
They are contesting the alleged sacrilegious and scandalous depiction of the Eyo Masquerade in the movie ‘Gangs of Lagos’, with Jadesola Osiberu, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Adesegn Adetoro, Demi Olubanwo, Olumide Soyombo, Bankole Wellington, Kola Aina, Greoh Limited, and Amazon Web Services Nigeria being named as defendants.
Court’s Decision on Ban and Mandamus Order
Justice Alakija’s decision grants the applicants the right to apply for an order of mandamus against the Lagos State Video and Film Censors Board, seeking to ban the movie ‘Gangs of Lagos’ from airing on Amazon Prime.
The reason for this request is the false and defamatory depiction of the Eyo Masquerade.
Additionally, the applicants can seek a judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and compel the attorney general and the Lagos State Video and Film Censors Board to fulfill their statutory duty under the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State.
This includes revoking the license and approval granted to Greoh Studios and ‘the make it happen production,’ the producers of ‘Gangs of Lagos,’ for their portrayal of Isale Eko as a den of criminals and the Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers and assassins.
Isale- Eko Descendants Union’s Statement
The Isale- Eko Descendants Union released a statement through its Chairman, Yomi Tokosi, emphasizing its commitment to protecting the community’s interests, particularly its cultural heritage and traditions such as the revered Eyo Masquerade Festival and its icons.