Freelance Journalist, Tobore Ovuorie has reacted to the viral video released by EbonyLife Films’ Mo Abudu where she debunked the copyright infringement allegations levelled against her and her company by the journalist.
In a statement dated January 13, Ovuorie addressed accusations made by the media mogul, one of which is the claim that they had a cordial relationship that involved cash gifts. She also hinted on the involvement of her former employers’ Premium Times regarding their copyright ownership claims. Reacting to Abudu’s claims that they had a relationship prior to the release of ‘Oloture’, one that involved her gifting the journalist money for the burial of her deceased father, Ovuorie stated:
“I sent messages out to all the contacts on my phone subsequently, to inform them to please remember my family and I in prayers; including Aunty Mo, at that time (before the release of Oloture). I have NEVER asked Aunty Mo for money. Rather, she sent me a message to send my account details for her to send me a token towards my dad’s burial.
I did. And she subsequently sent me N100, 000.00 (one hundred thousand naira)…Having watched the video, I now begin to wonder: The N100, 000 sent by Aunty Mo, was it more than a gift? Was it intended to buy my silence when the film would be released?” It will be recalled that Ovuorie had made multiple claims on social media and also granted an interview where she detailed how the Netflix film is an adaptation of her 2014 sex trafficking investigative report.
In the interview, the journalist claimed she was contacted after the film premiered in 2019 and was not properly credited for the use of her life story. Mo Abudu responded to Ovourie’s allegations first with a statement insisting that ‘Oloture’ is a fiction even though she sought and acquired rights for the 2014 report from Premium Times. Abudu later released a now viral video reiterating that EbonyLife had followed the legal boundaries of copyright acquisitions in Nigeria.