Equity Bank has been ordered to pay Eric Obiero Nyadida Ksh5 million for using his music to promote its Wings to Fly scholarship programme without pay, and later bullying him.
In her ruling, Lady Justice Wilfrida Okwany also ordered Equity, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and the police, to pay him Ksh250,000 for malicious prosecution.
“This court had a chance to listen to the petitioner’s music ‘Wings to Fly’ when the same was played in court during the hearing. I noted that there was a striking similarity between the said song and the one used by the bank in advertising its programme, also dubbed ‘Wings to Fly’,” the judge said.
Nyandida praised the decision terming it as overwhelming.
“I must say, that the greatest pleasure I have had is to achieve something that many creatives have fought for over the years, and while doing so, I have had the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of giants. I undertook to fight the good fight, to get involved in some good trouble, if I may say so,” he said in a statement.
Equity Bank in 2013, asked the then 16-year-old Nyadida while in Form Two at Maranda High School, to compose the “Wings to Fly” song in exchange for a Ksh10 million pay.
Nyadinda composed the song, recorded it, and shared it with the bankers but the bankers failed to honour their promise despite using the song across all their platforms as a marketing tool.
“I severally wrote letters to James Mwangi (Equity CEO) and other people at the bank in which I got responses but at some point, they asked me to reduce the cash from Ksh10 million to Ksh2.5 million but I refused,” Nyadida said last year.
The bank later had him arrested and prosecuted alongside his brother for allegedly tryng to defraud the lender Ksh10 million.
“The bank told my brother and I through a letter that we had committed a criminal offence and we were to take statements the next day at Equity Centre,” said Nyadida.
“The case took three years in court and I was acquitted on October 3, 2017, since the prosecution had not provided enough evidence for the offence,” added Nyadida.
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