The Chairman ofÂ United Bank of Africa Plc (UBA), Mr.Tony Oyemaechi Elumelu, is definitely a man with a heart of gold, reason heÂ is a role modelÂ toÂ many across the African continent and beyond.Â But beyond his smiling face is aÂ highly disciplined man that wouldnâ€™t tolerate any iota of indiscipline especially when it has to do with his reputation.
Spyglass gathered that the Delta State-born billionaire and founder of the TonyÂ Elumelu Foundation has dragged a publisher, Mr. Uju Onyechere before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly passing off a book entitled, TONY ELUMELU STRAIGHT FROM THE GUTS
Joined as co-defendants in the ensuing legal warfare are, a Lagos businessman Mr. Fabian Chima Eni and Divine Care Pharmaceutical Company Limited.
In an affidavit sworn to by a legal practitioner, Mr.Osinowo Kolawole, and filed before the court by the law firm of Tokunbo Orimobi the deponent claimed that, over the years ElumeluÂ through doggedness and hard work had acquired substantial reputation with the name â€œTONY ELUMELUâ€ in connection with his person and brand as the name has become well known in local and global banking and finance industry.
However sometime in October, 2017, it came to the plaintiff â€˜s attention that Divine Care Pharmaceutical Limited was displaying and offering for sale to the general public a book entitled, â€œTONY ELUMELU STRAIGHT FROM THE GUTSâ€ with internationalÂ standard book number 978 978 917 108-8 at its officeÂ number 32,Enitan Street, Aguda Surulere Lagos State.
Mr. Kolawole claimedÂ further that Mr. Tony Elunelu is not the Author, Publisher or a distributor of the said offending book and neither is anyone, including any of the defendants herein or any other person, natural or incorporated entity, authorised, permitted or licensed to author, publish, sell or offer for sale any such book.
Being seriously perturbed and concerned about the existence of the said offending book, as same constitutes an infringement of the Plaintiff â€˜s brand, trade Mark, name and goodwill, he detailed some people to investigate same at Fabian Chima Eni â€˜sÂ place of business. However, by the time the Plaintiff â€˜s representatives arrived at his premises, most copies of the book had been sold off, but a copy of the book being offered for sale was purchased from the office of Divine Care Pharmaceutical limited.
It was also discovered that Fabian Chima was also partaking in the passing off against the plaintiff, consequently on October 17, 2017, the plaintiff â€˜sÂ representative traced him to his bookshop at number 81 Imomo Nla Road, AP Bus Stop Off Ijede Road Ikorodu Lagos State where upon a covert enquiry, Fabian Chima confirmed to the Plaintiff â€˜s representative thatÂ he has a large stockpile of the book for sale.
The defendants were alleged to have deliberately published and continued retailing the book and have been benefiting undeservedly from passing off the name, goodwill and reputation of the plaintiff which have been built over the past 20 years from his personal and professional sojourn.
By the reason of the action of the defendants without the consent of the plaintiff, there has been great confusion on the general public as to the authorship of the book.
The presiding judge, Babs Kiewumi, adjourned the case untilÂ 13th of March 2018Â for the hearing of the suit.