|Ms. Obasi Hills and Runtown|
Runtown has been hit with a court injunction in the US, a new twist in the battle between him and his record label.
On Friday June 3, 2016, Lydia Obasi Hills, Esq., a New York litigator and entertainment lawyer, secured a temporary injunction, on behalf of Eric Many, Ltd., in the Eastern District of New York against Runtown and his manager, Bugu Aneto Okeke, barring all U.S. performances and appearances by the Nigerian pop star.
Ms. Obasi Hills presented evidence to the Court that Runtown was not only in breach of his record contract, but was also planning a U.S. tour, titled "Ghetto University USA Tour," without the consent of his label, which would have been in violation of the May 20, 2016 Lagos Federal High Court injunction. Ms. Obasi Hills also presented evidence that Runtown was making false and malicious defamatory statements against EricMany and its CEO, Prince Okwudili Umenyiora. Judge Matsumoto ultimately entered an Order restraining and enjoining Douglas Jack Agu (“Runtown”), Bugu Aneto Okeke, Bug Media Limited, and Bug Entertainment and Media Limited, from "singing, appearing, hosting, performing, promoting, arranging, facilitating, scheduling, advertising or permitting the performance of Douglas Jack Agu "Runtown" at any venue on or after June 3, 2016."
According to Ms. Obasi Hills, she hopes "Runtown's injunction sends a message to Nigerian artists that it's important to respect the sanctity of contracts, and to work with their labels who often invest large sums into promoting their careers." Runtown sought to breach his contract with EricMany, Ltd., to which he was the sole artist on the label.
Ms. Obasi Hills also stated, "EricMany's victory is a victory for all Nigerian record labels, which sends a clear message to all artists that a record deal is a binding agreement. It's wrong for an artist to reap the benefits that signing to a label provides, only to leave thereafter to the detriment of the label, and after the artist has achieved fame and success in large part due to the label's investments in the artist's career.
"EricMany has invested over $600,000.00 USD into Runtown’s career and has yet to re-coup the totality of its investment. While the media has been aflame with rumors that Runtown has left EricMany, the hope is that Runtown and EricMany will be able to settle their differences and enter into a new record contract, leaving the past in the past."
The temporary injunction will lasts for a specified period of 10 days (June 3, 2016 – June 14, 2016). On expiration, a hearing will be heard from all parties involved, with a view to getting a permanent one, or resolving the case out of court.
Ms. Obasi Hills, EricMany's U.S. counsel, is also the founder of the Nigerian American Entertainment Alliance and currently serves as Vice President of the Nigerian Lawyers Association - the National Voice of the Nigerian U.S. Legal Community.