Asake doesn’t owe royalties to ‘epp me’ police woman – Lawyer

An entertainment Lawyer, Rapheal Irenen, has stated that Afrobeats sensation, Ahmed Ololade, popularly known as Asake, does not owe viral police officer, Helen Utabor, any royalties.

Utabor became a viral sensation in 2022 for crying “Epp me, epp me… he dey carry me go where I no know,” after a motorist zoomed off with her.

Popular comedian, I Go Save who appealed for help on the ailing officer’s behalf said she was hit by a vehicle while controlling traffic in Edo.

Asake donate N5m

Following the accident, I Go Save gave an update that Asake supported her with N5 million for treatment, and this generated controversy.

Some claimed the singer should have paid the police officer royalties for using her voice in his “Peace be unto you” song.

But Irenen while appearing on Arise TV’s Good Morning Show on Monday, noted that there are six classes of work entitled to copyright under the Nigerian Copyright Act.

Policewoman epp me

He listed them to include literary work, artistical work, music work, sound recording, broadcast, and audio visual work. The lawyer said the viral video falls under audio visual works category.

When asked if Asake owes Utaboh royalties, Irenen simply replied, “Looking at the provisions of the law, the simple answer is No.”

“Copyright in an audio visual work goes to the author. Copyright generally under the Nigeria Copyright Act goes to the author. That is Section 28 of the Nigeria Copyright Act.

“The video itself comprises the woman’s voice. It is quite reasonable to expect that people would advocate that she be compensated. But it doesn’t really work that way.”

“The video was a spontaneous activity. If there was an agreement that stated the lady (Utaboh) would be entitled to something, royalties or she has certain ownership over the said video, that would have been different. But there was no agreement to that effect. The young man took out his phone and started recording”.

He added; “If you remove the lady’s voice, you make it a stand-alone item. Asake only used her voice alone. He did not use the video.”

In a tweet via his account, Irenen explained; “She is not entitled to any royalty accruing from the song. Though her voice was used/sampled in the record, she is not the owner of the video, from which her voice was expunged and used for the said song. Recall that a video was made where she was seen shouting ‘Epp me.’”