By Deji Abdulwahab
Operatives of Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) have arrested a man over alleged illicit redistribution of broadcast signals belonging to various right owners.
This is contained in a statement issued by NCC Director of Public Affairs, Mr Vincent Oyefeso, in Abuja on Monday.
Oyefeso said that the suspect’s action was in violation of the Copyright Act.
“In an anti-piracy operation executed from the 16th (September) into the wee hours of 17th September, 2022, the suspect, who had evaded arrest, was traced and apprehended by the NCC operatives.
“He was arrested at his base in Port Harcourt, Rivers, while carrying out the unauthorised redistribution of the signals,’’ he said.
Oyefeso also said that the Director of the commission’s Port-Harcourt Office, Mr Collins Nweke, said that the operation was carried out in collaboration with other enforcement agencies, following months of surveillance by the operatives.
He quoted Nweke as stating that the contrivances seized included: DSTV, GOTV, Strong and FTA decoders as well as other materials used for the illicit distribution of signals to subscribers who made payments to the suspect to receive the pirated signals.
“The suspect has made useful statements and investigation is ongoing with a view to a likely prosecution.
“The suspect is believed to have a customer base of over three thousand (3,000) subscribers on his illegal broadcast network and the commission is processing the information to get to the root of the crime,” he said.
Oyefeso said that the recent arrest came on the heels of a recent warning by the Director-General of NCC, Dr John Asein, condemning all forms of signal piracy.
He said that anyone found engaging in redistributing broadcast signals and their accomplices in the illicit act would be arrested and prosecuted, adding that any contrivance found to be used for such crime would be confiscated.
Oyefeso urged members of the public to report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to the nearest NCC office.