Omoni Oboli, ‘Okafor’s Law’ and Intellectual Property Theft

The national release of her film will be subject to the court's judgement

Inspired by a conversation with friends on past lovers, Omoni Oboli’s Okafor’s Law is a film based on a man’s quest to prove whether or not he can still pull the women he had affairs with in the past regardless of whether they’ve moved on or not. It references the informal slang ‘Okafor’s Law’ which suggests it is easier to sleep with a person if you have slept with them before.

Following the international premiere at Toronto Film Festival, a controversial issue popped up regarding the script of the film. Jude Idada, a Nigerian writer resident in Canada, alleged that Oboli took the work he had done regarding Okafor’s Law and developed it. Omoni Oboli didn’t address the allegations at the time, choosing to ignore the issue then and continue with publicity. Turns out that wasn’t a great idea as Jude Idada was prepared to get what he alleges is his due with the help of the law. He filed a suit against Oboli at a Nigerian federal high court, citing fraud and had Oboli barred from premiering the film in Nigeria.

Soon after the case was established, the court issued an injunction halting the national premiere and distribution till the allegations are addressed. Sadly, Omoni and her team were served on the evening of the premiere, effectively laying waste to all her preparations for the evening.

Though it’s uncertain how this will play out, it’s a necessary process as it seeks to address the rampant problem of intellectual property theft in Nigeria.

Featured Image Credit: OmoniOboli/Instagram

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