Illegality: Nigerian US-based model sues Bank for using her photo for advert

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Nneoma Anosike has sued Wema Bank for a whopping N97 million

A Nigerian model based in the United States of America has sued WEMA Bank for illegally using her photographs for commercial purposes.

A Nigerian model based in the United States of America, Nneoma Anosike, has sued the WEMA Bak PLC for allegedly using her photographs for an advertisement without her permission.

In the suit filed at a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State, the 22-year-old Anosike, through her father, Francis Anosike who doubles as her lawyer, sued the bank for N97 million being damages for using her photographs for commercial purposes without authorization.

According to the aggrieved model who is signed to Ford Models Inc took her to the U.S, the bank had, on April 11, 2016, used her photo for a commercial on a social network platform, Instagram, without her consent or authorization from her management company.

Among her prayers, Anosike is seeking an order directing the bank to, among other things, pay her the sum of N75 million for allegedly passing off her services.

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She is also seeking an injunction restraining the defendant from passing off or causing others to pass off her professional services and a declaration that she is entitled to her privacy of her correspondence under Section 37 of the Nigerian Constitution.

 

The plaintiff is also seeking an order directing the bank to pay her N20 million for the breach of her privacy by advertising her private correspondence, an order to publish a written apology in two national dailies in Nigeria and in the U.S as well as N2 million as the cost of filing the suit.

According to the statement of claims, the plaintiff claimed that she is a reputable international model who had won many laurels within and outside the country, including the ‘Elite Model Look’ 2013 in Nigeria and based on her reputation, Pepsi-Cola Nigeria made her its brand ambassador for Aquafina water.

 

She further averred that her contract with Ford Models Inc took her to the U.S and that prior to the bank's using her photographs, she was in negotiations with the company for a renewal of her contract.

But on April 12, 2016, Anosike stated that the management of Ford Models summoned her to a meeting wherein she was presented with her photo advert procured from the Instagram account of the defendant.

She alleged that the defendant mutilated and edited her professional photo for the said advert uploaded on the Internet, adding that based on that action, her contract renewal with the American company had been jeopardized.

But in its statement of defence, the defendant averred that the bank was not a party to the alleged modeling contract between the plaintiff and the American company and was not privy to it.

 

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The bank also stated that the photo in question was sourced from social media for its weekly online motivational and educational series, intended to inspire online users.

The bank denied using the plaintiff’s photo for any advertisement purposes or for any commercial gain but for purely free educational purpose under its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.



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