The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) on Thursday Approached the Federal High Court Abuja to seek for declaration barring any other group from impersonating with the name and Logo of the organisation.
The court action was coming against the backdrop that a group of persons have been using the name and logo of IHRC to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians in the name of launching pro-poor Housing Estate.
The organisation’s high Commissioner for African Region Ambassador Dr. Friday Sani said they approached the court to get a declaration because a particular group has continued to impersonate the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC).
“This is our reason for resorting to court action, having filed several petitions with the police the actions were inadequate.
“We think it has reached the peak whereby a court of law needed to make a pronouncement so it can stand as law against such impersonation.
“This group use the exact name and logo that was ordinarily protected by the trade mark act, because every logo in Nigeria and outside is usually protected by the registered trade mark. “Being an international Organization in Nigeria we ensured that our logo is protected by that registration for trade Mark and in Nigeria it is usually done by the Federal ministry of Trade and Industry.
“We have done that, even at that they still continued to use our logo and name against the established law.
According to Dr. Sani the group has been extorting money from people and even in recent times staged a launching on Tuesday targeted at defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians because International Human Rights Commission is not a Property consultant. “There is no way we will be proposing for a launch of a housing estate for the people. So it is an attempt to defraud the people and I want the public to take note of it.
“Whether it is the property Housing that was launched they do not have anything to do with the IHRC, including our logo that was protected by law in Nigeria and outside.
“We had taken this matter to the Trade Mark Act tribunal, whereby if anybody impersonate your logo you take the person before the tribunal.
“We have exhausted that window of opportunity to make complaint to the tribunal and the Tribunal came out with a ruling that it has no jurisdiction over them because they are not registered or they don’t have a registered name or logo with the Federal ministry of Trade and Industry, hence they have no jurisdiction over them.
“Since they have continued to impersonate our organization we felt it is better to come before the court to protect our organization.
The IHRC is our name with the European Union, it is a European Union property across Europe and in the world you cannot use the logo anywhere.
“Yet the same group continued to use the logo and the name with the intention to defraud. We have a police report that was released recently indicting them of defrauding people with an account where several monies were collected in the name of registering them.
He said the IHRC that he heads in Africa does not register anybody for any amount as people don’t need to pay money for accessing human rights. “What we do is free legal services to every individual living on earth. We don’t register anybody for money. Anybody who is asking you to bring money to be registered into the International Human Rights Commission belongs to the same group of fraudulent agents whose matter we have brought to court.”
The legal representative for the IHRC
Victor Onuche Chapi said relief in the application he has filed is for the court to declare that only the International Human Rights Commission and it’s Lawful Attorney Dr. Friday Sani has the legal right to act as the official representative of the IHRC both in Nigeria and in the African region.
“We are asking the court to declare that the attempt by these individuals to impersonate, to act as the official representatives of the IHRC is it ultra vires
Null and void and that any act they have carried out in the name of International Human Rights Commission using our name, using our logo to perpetrate all manners of illegal activities be declared ultra vires, null and void
“The import of this action is not just to distance the African head of IHRC from the activities of these well known fraudsters but also to establish that human right is free, human right is for everyone, you cannot sell it, you cannot divorce yourself from it. “So anyone that is attempting to exchange money or other gifts to provide you with your human right, they are looking for something that is not protected or guaranteed by the law.
“The law is clearly established, where there is wrong there is right. So we have asked the court to make us even because these people have not only brought disrepute to the International Human Rights Commission both in Nigeria and the world because their activities are broadcasted globally. “They are fronting a criminal organization using a well known organization with integrity. So yes, we have asked the court for damages and we believe the court will hear us and grant us our reliefs.