A N70 million lawsuit has been filed against popular Nigerian artiste, Douglas Jack Agu otherwise known as Runtown.
The suit was filed by his record label, Eric Many Limited, at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.
Eric Many is accusing Runtown of breaching his contract by engaging in shows and collaborations with others without approval of the label.
A statement issued by the entertainment company disclosed that the artiste has been served the court papers.
In the Suit No: FHC/L/CS/267/2018, Eric Many claimed Runtown has been deliberately breaching his contract with despite many appeals to him to stop.
The label alleged that Runtown went for a show in Las Vegas, USA, since January 13, 2018 and has since decided to withdraw all obligations of his contract.
“He has steadily been recording an album without the consent and approval of his record label,” the label alleged.
According to the statement of claim filed at the Federal High Court by Eric Many, “a Recording Agreement was made between the Plaintiff and the Defendant dated 22nd June 2016, the copyright and other intellectual property and cognate rights and legal positions and protections applicable to all works done by the Defendant during an initial period of two years covered by the Agreement, is vested in the Plaintiff.
“The Plaintiff will rely on a copy of the said Recording Agreement at trial. 7. Under the Agreement, parties recognize and acknowledge the sum of N114.46 million as ‘Prior Investment,’ representing the sum invested by the Plaintiff into the development of the Defendant’s musical works and records under the defunct ‘Artiste Agreement’, precursor to the ‘Recording Agreement”.
Eric Many stated further that Runtown breached his deal and is “recording with artists like Del B without the written approval of the label and without an Eric Many appointee at the point of recording as agreed in our contract.”
It further said Runtown has also been appearing in venues and collecting appearance fees without the approval of the label and also performing in private shows without the label’s consent which contravenes clause 4.4.1 of his record deal which states that ‘the Defendant (Runtown) can only engage in recording, collaborating or performing with other artistes for third parties or other record companies upon proper notification in advance to the Plaintiff.
“Upon this notification, the Plaintiff would then enter into an agreement with the collaborating artiste or his record company to ensure that the Plaintiff and the Defendant receive proper credit, legal/copyright protection and compensation for the collaborative work”.
Though Runtown’s record deal with Eric Many is due to expire at some point this year, the label claimed the music act still owes the company a lot of money including, ‘Hundreds of millions in Naira from the Lamborghini Gallardo super-fast car he still has to pay back to the label and also an album that must be released through the right channels.
“He has been doing numerous collaborations with several artists without getting the written approval of the label and as a result, no royalties have come back to the label from any of these collaborations. He has been warned severally about this on numerous occasions but he refused to listen, so we as the label had to go to court to stop him from these dubious actions,” the firm claimed.
Eric Many, in its statement of claim, is seeking the sum of “N65 MILLION being General Damages against the Defendant (Runtown) in favour of the Plaintiff for infringement of the Plaintiff’s copyright to the collaborative musical works ‘Call Me’ and ‘Weekend’ both of which featured the Defendant as well as N5 MILLION as costs of this action”.
“Eric Many has chosen to hold back on anything pertaining to Runtown till further investigations. This means that anyone who engages Runtown without a written approval from Eric Many, signed by the chairman, will be sued heavily,” the label stressed.
Meanwhile, the Eric Many has announced the sacking of Runtown’s current manager, Ifeanyi Nwunne.
The label accused the manager of being a “drug addict that smokes marijuana round the clock.”
In the statement, the label said it would appoint a new manager soon for the act.
This will be the second time in two years Runtown is having an issue with his label.
Recall that in May 2016, he was dragged to a Federal High Court by Eric Many on allegations that he signs up, concludes and attends musical shows without the knowledge of the label.
However, the matter was later settled out of court after Runtown apologised to the label after Eric Many secured a court injunction stopping him from performing as an artiste anywhere in the world.