Gangs of Lagos: Lagos govt lacks power to regulate film industry – Amazon tells court

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By Racheal Ayodele

Entertainment company, Amazon, is seeking the dismissal of a suit against the controversial movie, Gangs of Lagos.

DAILY POST reports that the movie, which was released in April, clearly portrays the violent and thuggery lifestyle of some parts of Lagos, hitting close with Lagos politics and revealing the greater weight behind street power.

Expressing displeasure over the movie through the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the state government described the movie as cultural misrepresentation. stating that the commission being the custodian of culture and the regulatory body of Lagos State, viewed the film as a mockery of Lagos heritage.

Lagos indigenes under the Isale Eko Descendants Union, IDU, moved to take legal action over the project.

In the lawsuit, the union demanded N10 billion damages against Amazon and other Gangs of Lagos producers.

Responding to the union, Amazon in a preliminary objection dated June 30, argued that the Lagos Government lacked the constitutional power to censor films produced within its territory.

Amazon stated that “The Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004 is not applicable to video and film censorship in the state.”

Amazon asked the court to dismiss the suit on the ground that the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004 was enacted outside the legislative competence of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The entertainment company sought an order “pursuant to Section 25(1)(q) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999” striking out the suit as the court “does not have jurisdiction to entertain it”.

“The appropriate law is the National Film and Video Censor Board Act, 1993, an Act of the National Assembly, which has already covered the field,” it argued.

The court, which is being presided over by Idowu Alakija, has fixed October 9, to determine Amazon’s preliminary objection to the suit

Amazon founded Prime Video Nigeria, which just debuted Gangs of Lagos as its first original production.

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