+OPENS UP ON HOW DEMEK MOVIES FRUSTRATED THEIR OWN PRODUCTION
Sultry actress, Queen Hilbert has fired an angry letter to her association, the Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, over the indefinite suspension slammed on her few days back, for alleged gross misconduct.
Recall that that AGN had suspended the actress over a dispute between she and the management of Demek Movies Industries Limited, a movie production outfit who alleged that Queen, breached a production contract and has refused to make amends.
Demek Movies had in a letter through their legal advisers, Messrs Anthony U. Okafor & co demanded the sum of N2 million from the actress as damages caused by the breach.
But the actress has come out to say that the allegations were false and that the AGN was in error for handing down punishment for an offence she did not commit.
In a letter to the National President of the AGN, through her lawyer, Onyemma Chukwura Chambers, Ms Hilbert stated that she kept to the terms of her contract with Demek Movies but that it was the production company that deliberately frustrated the production only to turn around to tarnish her name.
Sheappealed that the Actors Guild of Nigeria reconsider and nullify her suspension, while calling for an investigation of this matter, where all the parties be heard.
Read the letter from her lawyer below…
IFEANYICHUKWU ALEX C. AGBOGU ESQ.
Solicitor & Advocate of the supreme Court of Nigeria. (ONYEMMA CHUKWURA CHAMBERS)
No 58 Awka Road Inland Town Onitsha.
Ejezie Emeka Rollas,
Actors Guild of Nigeria
Suite 29, Block 2 N.C.A.C,
Article Village, National Theatre Iganmu Lagos.
RE- LETTER OF SUSPENSION OF QUEEN HILBERT.
We are counsel representing Queeneth Hilbert (referred to by you as ‘Queen Hilbert’) of Delta State chapter of the Actors Guild of Nigeria. A letter dated June 3 2021 and signed by Ejezie Emeka Rollas was brought to her attention by friends who received copies, A copy of that letter is herewith annexed as ANNEXURE 1. We place it on record that as at 7th June 2021 ie even at the time of writing this response, our client has not received or been personally served with her own copy of the letter. But she has decided to respond immediately because of the weighty nature of the allegations against her and the fact that an extreme sanction had been placed on her without the advantage of fair hearing. Similarly, our client’s attention was called to another letter dated 3rd June 2021 and signed by Anthony U. Okafor & Co, a firm of Barrister and Solicitors. A copy of that letter distributed to several Guilds is attached as ANNEXURE 2.
Our client intends to respond as follows
1. The reference to “series of petition received from Producers which boarders on your gross professional misconduct” is totally strange. To our client’s best of knowledge and recollections, at no time did the Actors Guild of Nigeria query her over any petition or indict her for any of those allegations.
2. Our client notes that for all the offenses alleged against her, the Guild found her guilty of ALL of them, and then at the same times state that-
“Your suspension is to enable the National Disciplinary Committee conduct a thorough and speedy investigation of the allegations before she was found guilty. This amounts to putting the horse before the cart. As a member of the Actors Guild and a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, our client deserves AS OF RIGHT, the right to fair hearing. It is also very strange that Annexure 1 and 2 were written and dated on 03/06/2021”.
What this means is that, the same day the petition was written against our client, was the same day she was suspended. The question is WHEN DID THE GUILD HAVE TIME TO DELIBERATE ON THE MATTER AND TAKE THIS KIND OF DECISION AFFECTING OUR CLIENT’S FUTURE? We are all human being and no reasonable person can conclude that our client was treated fairly.
3. Our client will write to state that the whole facts as presented by A.U. Okafor in Exhibit 2 are all false. Our client and Demek Movies had a contract for her to feature in 82 scenes, all of which would happen within a period of 7 days. The set opened on 24th May, 2021 and meant to last till 31st May, 2021. However, upon commencement, the following factors emerged-
(I) Our client discovered that one of the A list Actors to co-act with her was retained by the same producer in another movie being produced at the same time.
(ii) The producer, more interested, in that other movie always pulled off the A Actor and made it virtually impossible for our client’s job to take off smoothly.
(iii) Our client had the bad experience of being brought to the set only to wait and do nothing. She has a video of some of the crew lying down doing nothing.
(iv) Our client informed the producer in a writing that inspite of the delibrate delays from them, she must be offset by 3rd June,2021 to attend to an extremely important appointment fixed before the time the contract for 7 days, for the movie Production, had been fixed. Thus she added an extra 3 days to make up for the delays from the producer. She further promised that she would return in a week time or less to complete whatever remains of the scenes. It is vital to note that by the time our client left Production, she had completely delivered on over 90% of the contract.
4. Our client did not in any way breach any contract. On the contrary it was the producer who in trying to eat his cake and have it or burn his candles on both end frustrated the contract. Our client makes bold to say that she has worked for Immortal Movies, Jones Ultimate Movies Aba _ in all these cases, even when the agreed period expired, our client graciously extended the number of days and took the importunate steps of coming to complete her role/scenes while busy with another movie.
5. It is very important to note that the two-clashing movies were being produced by the same person i.e SOLOMON APETE. He exercised his discretion delibratly to frustrate the completion of the movie within the record time of 7 days because, he devoted more time to the other Movie where he featured the same Actor that was to co-star with our client in another movie. He also delibratly fixed the two movies to be undergoing Production the same time, it is also worthy to be noticed that he delibratly kept this vital information hidden from our client. It was only when the production had started that our client noticed this clash.
6. Much worse is the fact that DEMEK MOVIES is the owner of the two movies in question and I’d fully aware of this clash. In the real sense of it, it is DEMEK MOVIES and the producer Me Solomon Apete who created all these problems. Events occurring suggest that both of them created this incident delibratly to destroy our client’s career. This assumption is supported by the fact that Solomon Apete has taken it upon himself to smear our client’s character and has continued to celebrate this punishment of suspension without fair hearing.
7. Our client want to place it on record that the Actors Guild of Nigeria is a highly respectable body with high level of standard in dealing with her members. However, in our client’s case, there has been a TOTAL breach of the principle of fair hearing. You do not shave a man’s hair in his absence. This is a clear case of vendetta. It is necessary for the Guild and other guilds to call our client and her accusers and hear from them before verdict. The punishment of suspension is extremely harsh and will be deserving when the case against the offender is proved based on solid evidence. In this case , our client has not even been confronted with any SINGLE EVIDENCE from her accusers.
8. Our client appeals that the Actors Guild of Nigeria reconsider and nullifies this letter of suspension. Our client also calls for an investigation of this matter, and that all the parties be heard. Our client notes that her detractors have already circulated all information relating to this matter on the social media. It is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY that our client be heard in this matter. Kindly be assured of our client’s highest regards.
Chief Alexander Ifeanyi Agbogu.
Disciplinary Committee DGN