The National Film and Video Censors Board has seized many copies of Nigerian movies and duplicating machines from pirates in Alaba market.
The items seized last week were displayed on Monday at a news conference in Lagos.
The NFVCB worked in collaboration with the Movie Producers Association during the operation.
The raid follows an amendment to the NFVCB bill of 2016 signed into law by the Acting President in March 2017, which states that the release of unauthorised works attracts a maximum of three years jail term or a fine of N500,000.
At the briefing were stakeholders that included Alhaji Abdulrasaq Abdullahi, Chief Eddie Ugbomah, Saint Obi, Yinka Ogundaisi, Gab Okoye, Funke Akindele, Emeka Aduah, Fred Amata, Dele Balogun, Kene Mkparu and Okechukwu Madu
The board’s Executive Director, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, said, “The raid is the first in the series of national enforcement against unclassified, unapproved and operating an unlicensed film and video distribution and exhibition business which will be carried out in Nigeria through the National task force.
“This is a subtle signal to persons distributing unclassified film and video works, persons distributing film and video works not registered for distribution in Nigeria, persons operating film and video distribution business without appropriate licence, persons distributing film and video works on premises not licensed and all persons profiting from the sweat of film and video creative directors without proper right assignment that they should find other business as the Board under my watch will not rest until we get rid of them from our industry.”
Among the works pirated are big-budget cinema flicks such as the ‘Wedding Party’, ‘Jenifa’s Diary’, ‘Wives on Strike’ and A trip to Jamaica’. Also seized are multiple DVD copiers, writable DVDs and generators. According to the board’s management, some of the perpetrators were also arrested.