Runtown has been in the middle of a legal battle with his label Eric Many Entertainment over an alleged contract breach. He is also accused of planning tours in the United States without consent of his label, making false, malicious and defamatory statements against Eric Many and its CEO, Prince Okwudili Umenyiora.
Runtown and Ericmany, how are they connected?
Douglas Jack Agu aka Runtown is a singer, songwriter, performer, recording artiste, and producer who has a lot of creativity, but did not have enough money to invest into his music and his brand, to make it profitable. EricMany Entertainment Limited is a record label owned by billionaire Prince Okwudili Umenyiora. The record label signed Runtown to a legal contract which ensures that Okwudili invests his money into the career of Runtown, and would attempt to recover the money and make profit from selling Runtown’s music, and collecting money from his performances, endorsement deals and any other stream of income. The deal between Runtown and Ericmany Entertainment is contained in a legally binding contract which states that EricMany will be entitled to getting 65% of Runtown’s earnings after profit, and the singer will get 35%.
Why is Runtown fighting EricMany?
Runtown and EricMany are fighting because of many reasons, and this can be explained from both sides. From Runtown’s side, he does not want the association with Ericmany, even though the contract does not have a definite duration. The singer says that his main reason for not wanting anything to do with EricMany is because all his money, including his 35% has been taken by EricMany for the past 2 years. According to him, he has only received his percentage thrice, and that only happened when a third party was involved in the transaction. He has also revealed that his life has been threatened on many occasions, and that the label has deceived him all through his time at the record label. He also said that he followed all the rules stated in his contract to dissolve the agreement.
For EricMany, the label said that they have invested so much in Runtown, and that he cannot walk away from the label. They deny all of what he said, and have taken him to court to stop him from performing for a short period.
Why is the court involved?
The courts are involved because the contract between Runtown and EricMany is a legally binding agreement. Both parties currently are undergoing a dispute, which they have failed to settle amicably. However, the contract also allows for them to seek other mechanisms of dispute resolution recognized in Nigeria. They included arbitration and the court. Since the court is the highest law of the land, if any party feels that the contract between them have been breached, and they cannot settle amicably, then they can head to court to resolve it
What are injunctions and how are they supposed to affect Runtown?
An injunction is a judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another, or that compels a person to carry out a certain act, e.g., to make restitution to an injured party. A party that fails to comply with an injunction faces criminal or civil penalties, including possible monetary sanctions and even imprisonment. They can also be charged with contempt of court.
Ericmany has gotten two temporary court injunctions against Runtown. The injunction prevents him from performing at any event or any form of recording for the time being unless with the approval of Ericmany Limited for a specified period of time. The first one lasted for 7 days and has long expired.
The second injunction was gotten in the USA by employing the services of Lydia Obasi Hills, Esq., a New York litigator and entertainment lawyer, who 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. The injunction was 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."
The temporary injunction will last 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. Runtown, on Satuday, July 4, 2016, performed in Oakland, USA, to the consternation of many.
Why did Runtown flout the US Injunction?
Nobody certainly knows if Runtown flouted the US Federal Court order. For the injunction to become active on Runtown it has to be served personally to him. He can perform despite the existence of the U.S Court interim order if the order itself or/and the court processes have not been served on Runtown. There is a provision of law as to how service of such order should be made and in so far it has not been compiled with, Runtown is not so bound by the order. The fact that the order is being displayed on the social media does not amount to proper service. So it is believed that Runtown has not been served with the order.
Who is right and who is wrong?
The case between Runtown and Ericnmany Entertainment is a very dicey one. Both parties have reasons to believe that they are in the right. EricMany continues to hold on to an existent contract. However, Runtown also believes that the terms of the contract have been breached on multiple occasions and hence it has effectively been nullified by EricMany’s actions.
Only an amicable settlement, which EricMany continues to publicly seek in press releases, or a court resolution will put these to rest.