Crime

Man Sentenced For Illegally Reproducing Holy Bible

Man Sentenced For Illegally Reproducing Holy Bible

Information reaching us that, A man in Akwa Ibom has been sentenced to prison for illegally reproducing and distributing the Holy Bible and other books.

Chinonso Ugochukwu, a trader, is to spend one year behind bars for piracy. But he has an option to pay a N30,000 fine.

The Judge, F.O. Riman of the Federal High Court, Uyo ruled that he must forfeit the recovered materials to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Ugochukwu was arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on pirating of books, being in possession and offering for sale 578 copies of various literary works, including The Holy Bible (Revised Standard version).

Man Sentenced For Illegally Reproducing Holy Bible
Man Sentenced For Illegally Reproducing Holy Bible

The court heard that the offence contravenes section 20(2)(c) of the Copyright Act, Cap C28, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria which attracts one-year imprisonment.

A witness, Martins Umoh, and a staff of Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) told Justice Riman the Commission received complaints from copyright owners, including The Bible Society of Nigeria, alleging that their literary works were being pirated.

This led to a search in some local government areas of the state, where several copies of pirated literary works were found in Ugochukwu’s shop located at 17 Grace Bill Road, Eket, in Akwa Ibom.

Also testifying during the trial, a staff of the Bible Society of Nigeria, Oluwafemi Akindele told the court that his office translates The Holy Bible, typesets it and sources for funds to publish it.

He said they observed that while the products were everywhere in the market, it never reflected in its official Bible distribution figures.

Most of the products in the market were pirated copies, Akindele said. Adding that complaints made to NCC led to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of Ugochukwu.

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