The Lagos State High Court, situated at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), has scheduled October 9 as the date for ruling on a preliminary objection raised against the Lagos State government’s authority to censor the film “Gangs of Lagos” and take action against its producers. The objection was presented by Amazon Web Services Nigeria, challenging the court’s jurisdiction in the matter. The court will decide whether the suit filed by the Isale-Eko Descendants Union (IDU) against the film can proceed.


Amazon, a subsidiary of Amazon Inc and founder of Prime Video Nigeria, has invoked Section 251(1)(q) of the 1999 Constitution in support of its argument to have the suit dismissed. The company contends that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case. Furthermore, Amazon is contesting the Lagos State Government’s power to regulate and censor films and videos produced within its jurisdiction, as stipulated in the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004.


The defendant, Amazon, has additionally argued that the Cinematograph Law of Lagos State, 2004 is not applicable to the regulation of video and film censorship in the state. The company seeks to establish that the law does not provide the basis for the state government’s actions against the film “Gangs of Lagos.”


The Isale-Eko Descendants Union (IDU) initiated the lawsuit, seeking N10 billion in damages from Amazon and other producers of the movie. The union alleges that the film portrays Isale Eko as a haven for criminals and the Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers. Chief Ayodele Bajulaiye, representing the Bajulaiye Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Bajulaiye, as well as Chief Abdul-Waheed Ayeni, representing the Sasore Chieftaincy Family and Eyo Iga Sasore, are also applicants in the case.


The defendants in the lawsuit include the Attorney General of Lagos State, Lagos State Video and Film Censors Board, and individuals involved in the production of the film, such as Jadesola Osiberu, Kemi Lala Akindoju, Adesegun Adetoro, Demi Olubanwo, Olumide Soyombo, Bankole Wellington, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Kola Aina, Greoh Limited, and Amazon Web Services Nigeria. The allegations focus on the purported sacrilegious and scandalous depiction of the Eyo Masquerade in “Gangs of Lagos.”


Previously, Justice Alakija granted the Isale-Eko Descendants Union permission to pursue an order compelling the Lagos State Video and Film Censors Board to impose a N10 billion fine against the producers of “Gangs of Lagos.” The order sought to hold the filmmakers accountable for the alleged wrongful portrayal of Isale Eko as a den of criminals and the Eyo Masquerade as a gang of murderers.