American-based Nigerian model, Nneoma Anosike’s lawsuit against Wema Bank PLC resumed on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos as she’s suing the financial institution for the unauthorised use of her pictures for commercial purposes.
According to the 22-year-old, on April 11, 2016, the bank had used her picture on social media platform, Instagram, without authorisation from her or her American management company,Ford Models Inc.
The picture was used for an advert with the bank’s corporate logo beside her face and the words, “Be yourself, Everyone else is taken”.
Filing the application through her counsel who’s also her father, Frank Anosike, the model is asking the court to award her N97 million as damages.
In her application, she prayed the court to direct Wema Bank to pay N75 million for allegedly passing off her services, another N20 million for the breach of her privacy by advertising her private correspondence, and N2 million as cost of filing the suit.
She is also demanding the defendant publish a written apology in two national dailies in Nigeria and in the US, as well as an injunction restraining the defendant from passing off or causing others to pass off her professional services and a declaration that she is entitled to her privacy of her correspondence under Section 37 of the Nigerian Constitution.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, her father appeared as the case’s sole witness to reveal to the court how Wema Bank’s unauthorised use of her pictures had jeopardized negotiations for a contract renewal with the management company as her professional photo was edited and further advertised on the bank’s website.
In its defence, Wema Bank rejected the claim that the picture had been used for commercial purposes, claiming instead that it was used for purely free educational purpose under its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
The defendant argued that the photo was acquired from social media for its weekly online motivational and educational series, intended to inspire online users.
Justice Buba adjourned the case until November 20.
The model had won the ‘Elite Model Look’ in 2013 and made brand ambassador for Aquafina water by Pepsi-Cola Nigeria before she left the country to work for Ford Models Inc in the US.