Amazon, the entertainment company behind the controversial movie “Gangs of Lagos,” is seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against the film.
The movie, released in April, depicts the violent and thuggish lifestyle prevalent in certain areas of Lagos, closely intertwined with Lagos politics and showcasing the influence of street power. The Lagos State government expressed its disapproval of the film, with the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, describing it as a misrepresentation of the culture and heritage of Lagos.
Indigenous Lagos residents under the Isale Eko Descendants Union (IDU) decided to take legal action against Amazon and other producers of “Gangs of Lagos,” seeking N10 billion in damages.
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In response, Amazon filed a preliminary objection on June 30, arguing that the Lagos State government lacks the constitutional power to censor films produced within its jurisdiction. Amazon claimed that the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004, does not apply to video and film censorship in the state. The company requested the court to dismiss the lawsuit, asserting that the Lagos State House of Assembly enacted the Cinematograph Law outside its legislative competence.
Amazon further argued that the National Film and Video Censor Board Act, 1993, an Act of the National Assembly, is the appropriate law governing film censorship and has already covered the subject matter.
The court, presided over by Judge Idowu Alakija, has scheduled October 9 to determine Amazon’s preliminary objection to the lawsuit.
It’s worth noting that Amazon recently launched Prime Video Nigeria, with “Gangs of Lagos” being its first original production.