From Ben Alozie, Lagos
A businessman, Mr. Izuchukwu Udegbunam has threatened a legal action against Anambra State government, a clergy, Odinand Wisdom Onyemelukwe of Cranmer Anglican Church, Nkwelle-Ezunaka, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State and Wiztek Smart Solution Limited for alleged theft of intellectual property.
Udegbunam, the Managing Director/CEO of Bunubunu Culture and Sporting through his lawyer, Ebuka Nkenke Esq. has filed a Pre-action Notice at the Federal High Court, Awka against Anambra State Government as well as a Writ of Summons on Ordinand Onyemelukwe, Wiztek Smart Solutions Limited, Commissioner of Transport Anambra State, Afam Mbanefo and one Sylvester Obiora.
According to the suit no: FHC/AWK/C5/93/2020, the plaintiff claimed that sometimes in 2018, he submitted a proposal to the Anambra state government through the state’s Ministry of Transport for the creation of a Software Application called ‘Anambra Metro Vault App’ for a secured and efficient transport system in the state.
He also claimed that the then Anambra State Commissioner for Transport, Hon. Uchenna Okafor invited his company, Bunubunu Culture and Sporting Limited to defend the proposal during which he informed them that another company has submitted a similar proposal which has been approved by the State Executive Council after considering the report of the panel set up to look at its modalities.
According to his claims, the then Commissioner ( Hon. Okafor) however, acknowledged that his own proposal was more advanced and elaborate and suggested that the two companies should meet, harmonize their ideas and work together for efficient service delivery.
He further claimed that after the two companies met to harmonize ideas, the representative of Wiztek Smart Solution Limited, Ordinand Onyemelukwe requested and was obliged their password after which they fixed further meetings which the later refused to honour.
Furthermore, the Plaint if stated that he was surprised that the same Wiztek Smart Solution Limited under the management of Ordin and Wisdom Onyemelukwe used the password provided to them to hack into their account and has been using the App he developed to his own use without keeping to the agreement they had, or even pay his company the 30 percent commission which Wiztek initially proposed to his company which necessitated his resolve to legal action to seek redress.
Udegbunam, further noted that with the Pre- action Notice which has been served on Anambra State Government and the writ of summons on management of Wiztek Smart Solution Limited, he expects them to seek an amicable settlement of the issues he raised within 30 days, failure to do that ,he will formally institute a N200 million suit against the State Government, Ordinand Wisdom Onyemelukwe and his company over theft of his intellectual property.
When the Plaintiff was contacted, he expressed hope the state government will do the needful and settle the matter amicably.
“Yes, we are still hoping on government intervention and amicable resolve of this matter, failing of which we may have no option than to approach the court to seek redress. As for the matter between us, Wiztek Smart Solutions Ltd and Ord. Wisdom Onyemelukwe, we cannot comment on that now because it is already in court,” he said.
Reacting to the Pre- action Notice, the Anambra state Commissioner for Information, Macdom Adinubu stated that he was yet to be briefed about the development, while his transport counterpart, Afam Mbanefo noted that he is just four months in office and is working on what he met on ground.
Ordinand Onyemelukwe in his response denied the claim of the plaintiff, insisting that his App is about having efficient security system in Anambra State and does not have any business with the Plaintiff or his App which is for transportation and wondered why the then Commissioner for Transport, Uchenna Okafor had to involve the plaintiff in the business in the first place.
But when the former Commissioner for Transport, Uchenna Okafor was contacted for his response he refused to speak on the matter, insisting that since the case is in court, it would amount to contempt of court for him to make any comment on it.