Chukwuemeka Ejekwu, also known as ‘Oga Sabinus,’ AKA Mr Funny has threatened to sue beverage firm Peak Milk for what he calls improper use of his brand.
In addition, the comedian sued UAC Foods, the producers of the sausage roll Gala, for using his photographs without his prior consent in an advertising campaign.
Stanley Alieke, Sabinu’s legal representative, expressed concern that Friesland Foods, the beverage maker’s parent firm, used the comedian’s catchphrase “something hooge” in an advert on its social media handle.
In a Notice to the erring companies, Sabinus demanded, through his lawyer, N1 billion in compensation and damages.
He further threatened a lawsuit if the brands failed to comply within two weeks from the receipt of the legal notice.
“Our client briefed us and we believe the same to be true that your Company, Friesland Foods Wamco Nigeria Plc, used a trademarked slogan ‘Something Hooge’ for the promotion of your Peak Milk product,” the legal notice read.
“The advert which was made on the Peak Milk Nigeria verified Instagram page (peak_milk) was posted on the 24th day of May 2022 which was used to promote the Peak National Breakfast Week.
“It will interest you to know that the phrase ‘something hooge’, which was popularized by our client, has been trademarked and legally reserved as his intellectual property by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.
“The said slogan was trademarked on the 26th of November 2021 with the file number: NG/TM/O/2021/48316. 10. On this note, we make the demand for the payment of the sum of Five Hundred Million Naira (N500m) as compensation for the unauthorized use of the intellectual property belonging to our client.
“And another five hundred million Naira for damages for the trauma; emotional, physical, psychological, and mental trauma our client has suffered for the Trademark theft and infringement of his intellectual property rights.
“We also pass a stern warning for your company to cease and desist forthwith the use of slogans, expressions, images, or any other intellectual properties belonging to our client without his express consent and authorization.”
Sabinus also demanded N500 million in compensation to be paid within 14 days for UAC Food’s usage of an anime version of him in a social media advertising campaign.
“Your company UAC Food Ltd. has been using the brand picture and other intellectual properties of Sabinus to make adverts for your Gala sausage roll without the consent or authorization of our clients,” another notice read.
“You made a post on your verified Instagram handle (gala sausage roll), on the 23rd of May, 2022 with the picture of our client. The post which was a cartoon of our client was captioned ‘the way I calculate everything in my life’.
“We demand that you pay our client the sum of one hundred million Naira (N100m) for the use of the picture which is the average fee our client charges for his picture to be used for adverts and promotions.
“It will be in your best interest to heed our warning and meet our demands and if at the end of 14 working days.”