Nigeria demands payment for J-Martin & Flavour
The Federal Republic of Nigeria has intervened in the impasse regarding outstanding bills owed popular Nigerian artists J-Martin and Flavour by Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary Committee. (Photo: J-Martin performing at SL Golden Jubilee)
Acting on the basis of a letter of complaint from an agent of the Nigerian artists, the Nigeria High Commission in Freetown sent a letter to the Sierra Leone Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, requesting payment to the two artists.
In its letter to the Sierra Leone government, the Nigerian High Commission appeals: “To obviate a likely messy legal tussle and restore confidence in the ability of Sierra Leonean institutions to respect formal agreements, the (Nigerian) Mission would be grateful if the esteemed (Foreign Affairs) Ministry could intervene in the matter by appealing to the Sierra Leone 50th Independence Anniversary Committee to pay up the Nigerian Artists just as it had done to the Sierra Leonean Artists that also performed during the aforementioned anniversary celebrations.”
It could be recalled that J-Martin and Flavour were contracted by the head of the Social and Entertainment sub-committee of the anniversary celebrations office, Abu Bakarr Konteh aka DJ Boxx, to perform for two days at a carnival at Lumley Beach, Aberdeen, Freetown, between April 23rd and 26th. The two artists were paid 50% upfront, with an understanding that the balance would be settled on their arrival in Freetown. However, the artists’ agent claims that the balance has not been paid three months now since their performance.
“I have spent three months plus in this country waiting for this balance of 50%. I have been abandoned and neglected with consistent harassment and embarrassment from the hotel management where they lodged me…” says Emenike Jude Peters, who claims to be a representative of the two Nigerian artists.
In an exclusive interview with salonejamboree, Konteh admits that indeed the 50th Independence Anniversary Committee still owes the Nigerian artists, but said that modalities are being worked out to ensure they get paid.
Ironically, the Nigerian Government recently donated the sum of US$500,000 to the anniversary committee.
It is believed that the issue of outstanding bills, especially to musicians, has dampened the success of Sierra Leone’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations. Even the local artists had to put the anniversary Secretariat under siege before most of them were eventually paid.
Meanwhile, the PR and Communications Officer of the 50th Independence Anniversary Committee was not available for comments on the issue as at press time. However, salonejamboree will endeavour to speak to J-Martin and Flavour directly from Nigeria on the issue.
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