Akin Fadeyi, a creative artist, and Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, are at loggerheads over the “Change Begins With Me” campaign which was recently launched by the federal government.
Following the launch of the campaign in Abuja, allegations emanated that “Change Begins With Me” was a rip-off of Fadeyi’s anti-corruption media campaign project tagged, “Not in My Country.”
Fadeyi was said to have shared the idea with Mohammed, who allegedly showed interest, watched video clips submitted by the artist and afterward, went radio-silent.
After the accusation of intellectual property theft was made, Mohammed through Falana & Falana’s Chamber, threatened legal action against his accusers.
In a subsequent letter addressed to the President, Punch reports that Fadeyi has expressed readiness to defend himself should the case land in court.
Adebayo Adenipekun (SAN) of the Aare Afe Babalola Law Chambers said in spite of Fadeyi’s silence, nothing would stop him from defending “his work and hard-earned intellectual property in a court of competent jurisdiction at the appropriate time”.
Adenipekun urged President Muhammadu Buhari to open an investigation into the allegation of intellectual property theft trailing the “Change Begins With Me” project to get to the bottom of the matter.
“At the opposite end of our client’s private rights, in the media reports, is a very crucial project of the Federal Government by which the government seeks to encourage individual change in the citizenry in the hope of a holistic national change. Such a project is not one that ought to kick off dogged with debate and controversy.
“Already an important orientation project is being overwhelmed by negative reports and backlash. We, consequently, urge Your Excellency to initiate a thorough investigation of the respective positions of the parties in the ultimate interest of the all-important war against corruption.
“We also wish to reiterate to Your Excellency that in the event that Alhaji Lai Mohammed makes good his threat to go to court, which our client urges him to do, our client reserves the right to come out to put up his defence and that whatever steps our client takes in defending his right should not be interpreted as fighting the government.”
“Change begins with me” campaign aims to educate and instill into Nigerians, values that contribute to the development of the country.