According to a report by Punch, a writer and legal practitioner , Daniella Madudu , has dragged Nollywood actress , Stephanie Okereke – Linus , before the Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged infringement on her intellectual property .
In the suit , marked FHC /L /CS /878 / 17 , filed through her lawyer , Mr . Rafiu Bello, this week, Madudu claimed that Okereke – Linus’ popular movie titled,
Dry , was an adaptation of her novel ,
Behind the veil .
The plaintiff alleged that Okereke -Linus adapted the novel , which focuses on child marriage and the attendant health complications , such as the Vesico – Vagina Fistula disease in northern Nigeria, into the movie without due authorisation.
Joined as second defendant in the suit is Joy Ndidi , a script writer and former Personal Assistant to Okereke -Linus , who the plaintiff accused of giving the manuscript of Behind the veil to Okereke – Linus.
But Okereke – Linus , in a press statement on Thursday , vehemently refuted Madudu’s claim, stressing that her interest in the subject of VVF predated Madudu ’ s manuscript completed sometime in 2010 .
The actress said while she had registered the script for Dry as far back as November 28 , 2011 with the United States Copyright Office and later with the Nigerian Copyright Commission on July 27 , 2012 , she never met Ndidi , who allegedly gave her Madudu ’ s script , until 2013 .
“The so – called ‘ original literary work’ of Daniella Madudu , that I was supposed to have appropriated in my movie , has never been registered at the Nigerian Copyright Commission even as we speak , ” Okereke – Linus said .
She said her interest in VVF dated back to her undergraduate days at the University of Calabar , adding that she had since gone on to work on the subject with a number of organisations.
The organisations , she said , included the Mercy Ships Aberdeen West Africa Fistula Centre in Sierra Leone ; the Mariam Abacha Women and Children ’ s Hospital , Sokoto ; the United Nations and the Government of Liberia , who , she said , invited her to participate in the anti – rape campaign , Stop Rape and the Liberia Fistula Project , sometime in 2008 .
She described Madudu ’ s claim as “something so ludicrous as to be able to find firm footing in the mind of any normal or rightly thinking individual . ”
The actress adds , “Dry is more than just a movie ; it is a righteous cause for voiceless women and young girls who have suffered the most debilitating kind of emotional and physical abuse , and anyone who seeks to denigrate this painful sacrifice with a smear campaign , with the intent to make gain or attract cheap publicity , simply lacks wisdom .
“ I want to take this opportunity to thank all those that have shown tremendous support and spoken up these past few days to end these words the same way it began.”
But in her suit against Okereke – Linus , Madudu claimed to have completed the manuscript of Behind the veil in 2010 when she was an undergraduate at the Obafemi Awolowo University , Ile – Ife , adding that Ndidi , also an undergraduate at OAU then, was her close friend.
Madudu said that she shared the content of the manuscript of Behind the veil , on the basis of trust and strict confidentiality , with selected book editors and close friends , including Ndidi , for quality control purposes.
She , however , alleged that Ndidi , who worked as Okereke – Linus’ personal assistant between 2013 and 2014 , gave the manuscript to the actress and film producer to adapt into a movie .
In the suit , Madudu is urging the court to declare that Okereke – Linus ’ movie , Dry , infringed on her novel .
She wants the court to restrain the actress from further infringing on her work and to order her to deliver to the plaintiffs all the copies of Dry , which had infringed on the work, Behind the Veil.
Madudu also wants the court to order an inquiry by chartered accountants to value or determine the monetary worth of the infringement and to order Okereke – Linus to pay her the sum with an annual interest of 20 per cent pre- judgment and 10 per cent post- judgment .
The plaintiff is also seeking compensation for general damages in the sum of N100 m , while also urging the court to order the defendants to bear the cost of filing the lawsuit .
The court has yet to fix a date to hear the case which was filed on Monday .