Jude Idada says Omoni Oboli stole movie from him
According to Idada, he had decided to let go, but changed his mind when he learnt the Obolis were telling people he stole their story.
Idada revealed this in an exclusive interview with TNS. He also stated that Oboli copied his idea for her directorial debut, "Being Mrs Elliott."
According to the writer, Omoni Oboli shared her idea for "Being Mrs. Elliott" with him, but had no script for it. He was asked to work on it, but he declined as he was busy as at time of discussion. Following a lot of pressure from Oboli, Idala claims he worked on an incomplete film treatment, which he forwarded to her. When he was done with the projects that had him busy, he reached out to the Obolis, asking to work on the script. According to him, his request was declined as they claimed to be working on something else, and had moved on to another project.
Idada revealed that he watched the movie "Being Mrs Elliott" for the first time at the Nollywood Week Paris Film Festival, and noticed a lot of similarities between the movie and the drafted script he had forwarded to the actress.
In 2014, Idada was invited over by the Obolis, who told him about their new project "Okafor's Law." According to Idada, he 'let his guard' down, and shared ideas with Omoni's husband, Nnamdi Oboli. They offered him the scripting contract, which he accepted, and after much deliberation charged 750,000 naira. He demanded for a contract. "If I'm going to do it, this time, I want a contract," he said to them.
Idada accepted to write the script. "They didn't give me a dime. I went ahead and wrote this thing. So while I was writing, I had to travel to Kamapala. I traveled to Kampala and lost all I had written. I reached out to them and told them, 'this is the situation, but I will still write it.'
"So I rewrote the story. Meanwhile, I asked Omoni 'where is the contract.' Everyday there was a long story. They didn't send me no contract, they didn't send me no money."
According to him, Fabian Lojede advised him to write a contract himself, and forward to the Obolis. "I wrote the contract, and I called Nnamdi over the phone. I said 'Nnamdi, I have sent you the contract, let me know when you sign it. He said ok, 'I will get back to you.' No acknowledgment of this contract, these people just went blank.
After a month and a half with no response from them, he gave the script to a friend of his (Chioma), who loved the story. "In the contract I sent to them, I said to them, Okafor's Law is yours, but the story is mine, the characters, the log line is mine, everything is mine. If at the end of the day, you don't want to go ahead with the script, I will take everything and give you "Okafor's Law," because that's all you have contributed."
According to him, the Obolis found out about his deal with Chioma, and told people he stole their story.
"In 2016, they started shooting, and someone said to me 'they are shooting Okafor's Law." Then somebody brought the script, and Chioma said to me 'this is your script that they are telling.' When I read the story, I saw that it was my story. All she did was change the names, but it was essentially my story," Idada said.
Prior to that, he revealed that Chioma had started auditions for her own movie with the script, with actors like Beverly Naya, Zainab Balogun, Emmanuel Ikubese involved.
After the movie was selected for Toronto International Film Festival, Idada wanted to sue, but changed his mind, considering how it would make Nollywood look to the world.
According to Idada, he had decided to let go, but when he heard Oboli was going around and lying with his name, he decided to speak up.
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A star-studded movie, "Okafor's Law" stars Richard Mofe Damijo, Toyin Aimakhu, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Ken Erics, Ufuoma McDermott, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Yvonne Jegede, Halima Abubakar, Mary Lazarus, Uche Nnaji, Betty Irabor, Tina Mba, Gabriel Afolayan, and Funke Bucknor.
Chuks (aka Terminator) is an ardent player with the ladies. He enjoys the attention of women, including girlfriends from the past. He believes that once a man has had a woman, he forever has access to her.
When challenged by his friends to see if he can prove the universality of that theory with three ex-girlfriends from his school days within 21 days, he accepts it.
Turning on his best charm he sets off to try and prove himself, but his quest brings him to three women, Ifeoma (Fifi), Kemi and Ejiro, whose situations in life have changed drastically since school days. This challenge of their various new statuses makes his quest to win the bet more and more insurmountable as he tries to prove the immutability of the age-old law, Okafor's Law.
Omoni Oboli is popular for hit Nollywood movies including "Being Mrs. Elliott," "Wives on Strike," "The First Lady," "The Figurine," "Anchor Baby" among others.
The Toronto International Film Festival, on Tuesday, August 16, 2016,undefinedwhich will screen as part of the City to City programme, including "Okafor's Law."
Jude Idada is a winner of AMAA best screenplay award, ANAA prize for Drama, Goethe Institut AfrikaProjekt and the first runner up of the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature.
Pulse Nigeria reached out to Omoni Oboli's representatives. There has been no response as at time of publish.
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