Ebonylife Media CEO Mo Abudu, Fires Back At Tobore Ovuorie For Alleged Copyright Infringement To The Movie Òlòturé.

The CEO of EbonyLife Media Mo Abudu, has reacted to Tobore Ovuorie allegations of copyright infringement to the movie Òlòturé, which hit Netflix months ago.

Tobore, who is a journalist, has come out to alleged that the movie Òlòturé, was based on a confidential report she did for Premium Times, where she went undercover as a sex worker to expose the human trafficking mafia.

Tobore stated that the article titled “Inside Nigeria’s ruthless human trafficking mafia” was published on August 12, 2014, by the Premium Times.

On the other hand, the movie Òlòturé happens to have the same storyline in the article that was published by premium times, where a young, naïve Nigerian journalist goes undercover to expose the shady underworld of human trafficking.

Tobore Ovuorie has come out to accused Mo Abudu and EbonyLife films of stealing her life’s story and making it into a movie.

This accusation is coming months after the movie was released and premiered on Netflix.

Mo Abudu, while addressing the issue in a video shared on Instagram, stated that:

“Premium Times services Limited, publisher of Premium Times, has disclosed that journalist Tobore Ovuorie cannot lay claim to the copyright over the investigative report which belongs to them.”

 “We sought and obtained the rights from Premium Times, the owners of the story. As such, we fulfilled our legal obligations and did not take kindly to suggestions stating otherwise.”

 “In May 2019, 20 months before the launch of Òlòturé on Netflix, we reached out to Tobore to acknowledge her journalistic achievements, to commend, recognize and encourage her in her ongoing campaign against sex trafficking and that of her NGO.

“We granted Tobore a private screening of the movie, gave her a special mention in the end credit of Òlòturé and I interveiwed her on Moments With Mo.

“In addition, we wrote to her and offered her 5 percent of the proceeds from our planned cinema run to go towards her NGO, which she acknowledged.

“We also reached out to other NGOs to pledge proceeds from our cinema runs as Òlòturé was never created as a commercial film.”

Mo explained that the cinema release of Òlòturé never happened due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so they partnered with Netflix to release the film in October 2020.

She continued: “Only a day after our release on Netflix, I got a phone call from a reporter Kiki Mordi who said she had been in touch with Tobore.”

Ms. Abudu revealed that Kiki Mordi had called her earlier, asking her questions about the similarities between Òlòturé and the investigative report done by Tobore and published on Premium Times in 2014.

She continued:

“We decided to respond, even though we didn’t have to.”

“Within a few days of this, Tobore went to social media making accusations, then she wrote to Netflix, making demands, then she launched an attack against Kenneth Gyang (director of Òlòturé).

“I feel particularly bad for Kenneth because he had never seen the script until we approached him to direct the film.

“He’s such a passionate filmmaker, but it’s hard to deal with daily and weekly harassment from Tobore.”

Mo Abudu went on to say that a month after the movie was released, they got a letter from Tobore’s lawyer demanding “$5 million in compensation,” accusing them of copyright infringement for the movie Oloture.

Mo revealed that EbonyLife Media’s lawyers started meeting with Tobore’s lawyers. Still, they never got to a conclusion because Tobore’s lawyers refuse to continue with the case.

Mo also stated that Tobore recently started communicating with her producers on social media, which for her, was the point Tobore closed the line. 

She said:

“To me, Tobore’s demands have become threatening, blackmailing, and extortionate in nature, and I do not respond to such methods.

“At this point, we thought if she felt she had a legal case, it could be better dealt with through the proper legal channels.”

“Prior to the release of the film on Netflix, I had a good relationship with Tobore.”

Mo continued:

“Everything changed after the growing popularity of the film on Netflix.

“I have said this time and time again, but let me state it again for the record. Òlòturé is a story inspired by true events involving the work of scriptwriters, the development of characters, location, situations, and occurrences that were created by our writers.”

Mo took her time to explain the differences between the movie Òlòturé and Tobore’s investigative report, stressing the scenes and characters added by her script writers that didn’t exist Tobore’s report.

Stating that the story is not exactly as that of Tobore, but is the story of many Nigerian women who are victims of sex trafficking.

She said: “Certain incidents in Òlòturé are similar to what happened to Tobore, and this was why she was given credit and why Premium Times was given credit.

“However, Òlòturé could never be Tobore’s life story as she has claimed.

“Please let’s educate ourselves on how the movie industry works and how stories are developed, and what inspires them.”

“If there is one thing that I stand for, it is integrity. It’s about working hard and always standing up for what I believe in. My entire team knows me. Many of you out there know me. We do what we do because we love what we do.

“We have not exploited Tobore or anyone else, and no one will exploit us.

“The facts are clear, we have Everything in writing, and we are prepared to defend ourselves against baseless attacks and legal challenges.

“We will not be intimidated because of the imagined financial success of this film Òlòturé.”

Sharing the video of her narrating what really conspire, Mo Abudu wrote:


Good morning

I would like to take a few minutes of your time today to shed some light on the recent allegations of copyright infringement made by investigative reporter Tobore Ovuorie against EbonyLife Films in relation to Oloture (the movie)

Please note that this recording is made available to all for information purposes only and we will therefore not be taking comments or answering questions on this video release.

I also stand as mentor to so many young girls and ladies, I never want to disappoint any of you, so again, I did this to give you all an understanding of the situation.

Thank you for taking the time “

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