BRAND THEFT: Top Model Slams N340m Suit On Cornerstone Insurance

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A Federal high court sitting in Lagos, South West Nigeria has adjourned till 27th of March,2018 .for hearing a N340million suit filed against Cornerstone Insurance company, and one of its subsidiary, Cornerstone  Assurance by a Nigerian actor Mr Ahmed Afolabi Roleola  for alleged unauthorized use and exploitation of his photographs and goodwill in their promotional adverts in the form of handbills,posters and brochure calculated to mislead and deceive the public and an infringement of his right to publicity.

Joined as co-defendant is Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria .

In a statement of claim filed before the court in Lagos  by his lawyer, Oluwakemi Balogun SAN, the actor Afolabi Roleola who is nationally acclaimed and recognized as a modelling icon who over the years have established his name within and outside Nigeria as a model, personality and brand in modelling business, averred that sometimes in 2009 he saw advertorials containing his photographs in the form of handbills and posters used by the defendants to promote and advertise their policy tagged  “Mortgage Protection Plan”, both within and outside the country without his consent, knowledge and approval.

When he discovered the unauthorized usage of his photographs and goodwill by the defendants he mandated his solicitors to write letter to the defendants expressing his displeasure on the unauthorized use of his photographs and demanded compensation, but the defendants ignore his demands, another letter was written to the defendants but same was ignored.

The plaintiff averred that the Insurance company have financially benefited well over N1billion from the sale of their products using the plaintiff ‘s photograph and goodwill.

Consequently, the plaintiff while urging the court to enter judgment in his favour in the sum of N240million being his entitlement from the sale of the defendants products and all other goodwill used to promote their benefited,using the plaintiff goodwill to promote their various products from 2008 till date.

The sum of N100million as general damages for the unauthorized use of the actor’s photograph.

An order of the court directing Advertising Practitioners council of Nigeria to prevail on the Cornerstone insurance Plc and Cornerstone life Assurance to ensure the payment of the Plaintiff ‘s entitlement and apply sanctions where appropriate.

However,Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria APCON in its statement of defence filed before the court by Barrister Okorie Micheal OKPEI stated that its functions to regulate the practise of advertising in Nigeria in all its aspect and ramification does not include the creating, making, execution of contractual relationship or enforcement of contracts or obligation between the Plaintiff and any third party.

Consequently APCON urged the court to demise the suit of the plaintiff against the APCON with substantial cost of N180million against the plaintiff in his favour being the cost of defending the suit.