The Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) has seized pirated works worth N600 million during its anti-piracy raid of seven warehouses in Awodi-Ora Estate of Apapa area, Lagos State.
Mr Obi Ezeilo, the Zonal Manager of the commission, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that this was part of its ongoing war against piracy.
Ezeilo said the commission seized thousands of boxes containing textbooks, motivational books, bibles, dictionaries, medical and health books.
Among the pirated books are: “Songs of Praise” belonging to University Press, “Mastering Steps to Numbers for Beginners” belonging to Metropolitan Publishers.
Others are: “Engineering Mathematics” belonging to Macmillan Publishers, “Oxford Dictionary” belonging to University Press and “Modular English Course” belonging to Evans Publishers.
Also seized are: “Champion Mathematics” belonging to Macmillan Publishers, “Primary Mathematics Workbook” belonging to University Press Plc, “Living as God’s Children” belonging to African University Press, “Holy Bible” belonging to Holman Publishers and “Social Studies” belonging to Lantern Publishers.
According to him, the anti-piracy operations unit of the commission has been targeting some warehouses in Apapa.
They were suspected to be storing pirated books in their warehouses without the consent of the owners.
Ezeilo said that the commission inspected seven warehouses located at No 47, Dada Onijamah Street, Apapa.
There, the commission’s officials discovered several thousands of pirated works in various boxes belonging to various publishers, he said.
“The anti-piracy raid followed a series of surveillance and intelligence gathering by the commission within Apapa environs.
“These provided the commission the clues to the targeted location where the literary works were pirated and stored,” he said.
Ezeilo said that a team of Copyright Inspectors in collaboration with the Nigerian Police Force carried out the anti-piracy operations.
He said that throughout the raid, none of the owners or operators of the warehouses were found within and around the premises.
“Only the landlord of the premises, Anthony Iwuala, showed up and said he was not aware that the warehouses were being used for the storage of pirated literary works,” he said.
The zonal manager said that the commission would carry out further investigations to fish out the actual owners of the warehouses and prosecute them accordingly.
Ezeilo warned those involved in piracy to desist and re-affirmed the commission’s `zero tolerance’ for piracy.
He also warned owners of warehouses to ensure that their premises were not used for illegal activities.