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Oloture's Scandal; Tobore Ovuorie RespondTo Mo Abudu's Denial Video (Full text)

Tobore Ovuorie, the investigative journalist who accused Mo Abudu and her company, Ebony Life Films of copyright infringement, has responded to Abudu’s video.


 Mo Abudu had on Tuesday released a video claiming that EbonyLife sought the permission of Premium Times as they own the rights to the report, not Tobore. 

 She added that to fulfill all moral obligations, she also sought out Tobore, interviewed her, gave her credit, and promised her money for her foundation.  

Read Ovurorie’s response below

RE: EBONYLIFE’S CLAIMS OVER THE OLOTURE FILM 

1. My attention has been drawn to the recent video recording by Ms. Mo Abudu. Initially, I was unable to view the recording as Ms. Mo Abudu (Aunty Mo) had blocked me on Instagram since last year. I was however able to view the recording from other platforms that reposted the video. 

2. Whilst I no longer intend to join issues on social media in respect of this matter, I wish to set the records straight for the sake of posterity. 

 3. Firstly, EbonyLife claimed that the right to use my life story was legally obtained from my erstwhile employer – Premium Times. Unfortunately for them and as I had earlier informed them through my lawyers, the human trafficking investigation in my story had commenced prior to my employment with Premium Times. It is disheartening that Aunty Mo could in fact mention that she got the right to my life-story (that has impacted on my life since then in many ways) from my ex-employer.

 4. Secondly, I am in shock that Aunty Mo would claim that I was contacted prior to the Movie in one breath and in another breath that the story is not about me but about several other faceless journalists who had done what I did but did not publish their experiences. 

 5. If Ebonylife had given me full disclosure from the beginning, we would not be where we are, at this point. Yes, Oloture is an important film to be made but must be done the right way. A Movie about women victimization cannot end up creating further victimization. 

 6. Oloture is an ADAPTATION of my work and life-story. I experienced the investigation, the process, and the risks, upon which the movie is based. I also single-handedly authored the publication the Movie relied on. The publication of my experience is what gave birth to Oloture. A Movie about sex trafficking does not need to be centered around a journalist and it does not need to play out the plots of my published story. 

 7. The question is, why is the open credits for the story of Oloture bearing Mo Abudu, Temidayo Abudu, and three others? How ethical is that for an adapted story? Even the alleged end credit, how appropriate is it? This is not the standard practice in the industry and Ebonylife should know better. 

 8. Aunty Mo’s claims that Kenneth Gyang has had to deal with daily and weekly harassments from me is completely false. On October 4th, 2020 Kenneth Gyang confessed in the published Premium Times story that he became aware of the Oloture story, two weeks before the release of the film. A film director- whom I had worked with on a 30 minutes documentary on this same story in 2016, told Kenneth the actual source of the story and had warned him of the consequences. 

 9. Kenneth Gyang contacted me to grant an audio interview to DW, but my lawyers had advised me against further media engagement on the subject. I also considered Kenneth’s disposition when he asked for this, and rather than mincing my words in an interview that came through Kenneth Gyang, I decided not to grant it. It would be morally wrong for me to grant such interview when he is the person that released my contacts to the reporter who reached me then.

(NAN)

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