A Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square has granted leave to Isale Eko Descendants Union to seek an order compelling Lagos State Video and Films Censors Board to impose a N10 billion fine against the ‘Gangs of Lagos’ producers for the wrongful depiction of Isale Eko as a den of criminals and the Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers.

The court has also allowed Isale Eko’s descendants to apply for judicial review and seek an order of mandamus directing the Attorney General of Lagos State and Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board to sanction the film producers under the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State.

The presiding judge, Justice Idowu Alakija, recently granted the leave for judicial review in an ex- parte application brought to section 3 of the Cinematograph law of Lagos State and Order 44 Rule 3 of the High Court Civil Procedure Rules.

Alakija granted the leave after hearing arguments of Counsel for Isale Eko Descendants Union and two others.

The applicants comprise Isale Eko Descendants’ Union, Cheif Ayodele Bajulaiye, who sued on behalf of the Bajulaiye Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Bajulaiye and Chief Abdul-Waheed Ayeni who sued on behalf of the Sasore Chieftaincy family and Eyo Iga Sasore.

They are challenging Jadesola Osiberu, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Adesegn Adetoro, Demi Olubanwo, Olumide Soyombo, Bankole Wellington, Kola Aina, Greoh Limited and Amazon Web Services Nigeria for alleged sacrilegious and scandalous depiction of the Eyo Masquerade in a movie titled Gangs of Lagos.

In her decision recently, Alakija granted the applicants leave to apply for an order of mandamus against Lagos State Video and Film Censor Board to ban the film, Gang of Lagos airing on Amazon Prime, for its false and defamatory depiction of the Eyo Masquerade.

Alakija also granted the applicants to apply for a judicial review and seek an order of Mandamus directing and compelling the attorney general and Lagos State Video and Film Censors Board to perform their statutory duty under the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State and Revoke the licence and approval granted to Greoh studios and ‘the make it happen production’ the producers of Gangs of Lagos for depicting Isale Eko as a den of criminals and Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers and assassins.

In a statement by its Chairman, Yomi Tokosi, on Saturday, the Isale- Eko Descendants Union said it would like to reiterate that it is committed to the protection of the interest of the community and its environs, particularly its cultural heritage and tradition like the revered Eyo Masquerade Festival and its icons.

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