‘Gangs Of Lagos’ Producers Face ₦10 Billion Lawsuit From Isale Eko Indigenes
The indigenous people are outraged over the ‘false portrayal’ of the island and the Eyo masquerades.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The Isale Eko Descendants Union aims to levy a ten-billion-naira punishment on the creators of Gangs Of Lagos.
The organization is upset with the filmmakers for portraying Isale Eko (Lagos Island) as a haven of criminals and the Eyo as killers.
The Isale Eko Descendants’ Union and a few other applicants have brought their objections to court, according to ThisDay Newspaper.
Chief Ayodele Bajulaiye files the remaining complaints on behalf of the Bajulaiye Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Bajulaiye, and Chief Abdul-Waheed Ayeni on behalf of the Sasore Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Sasore.
They are attempting to levy the fine on the producers, who include Jadesola Soberu, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Adesegun Adetoro, Demi Olubanwo, Olumide Soyombo, Bankole Wellington, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Kola Aina, Greoh Limited, and Amazon Web Services Nigeria.
The complaints also request that the National Film and Censors Board (NFVCB) revoke the film’s clearance.
After hearing their case, a Lagos High Court presided over by Justice Idowu Alakija at Tafawa Balewa Square granted them leave to apply for judicial review and seek an order of mandamus directing the Attorney General of Lagos State and the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board to sanction the film producers under the Lagos State Cinematograph Law.
“To apply for judicial review and to seek an order of mandamus directing and compelling the attorney general and Lagos State Video and Film Censors Board to perform their statutory duty under the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, impose a fine of ₦10 billion against the producers of the Gangs of Lagos movie, and demand an account of the proceeds from exploitation and streaming of the illegal and defamatory depiction of Isale Eko as a den of criminals and the Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers and assassins in the Gangs of Lagos movie,” the court document reads.
This lawsuit follows the Isale Eko Descendants’ Union’s first dissatisfaction with the representation of the Eyo masquerade as soon as the film began streaming in April 2023.
Noting the masquerade’s historical significance, the union objected to its portrayal in a “despicable and insensitive manner.”
The Lagos Government, like the union, has expressed its concern with the depiction of the Eyo masquerade as a gun-wielding monster.
Gangs of Lagos is the first African Original for Prime Video, and it is part of Osiberu’s three-year partnership with the streaming service.
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