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Court fixes Feb 16 for judgement as experts conclude evidence on Bata, Salsa dance

Court fixes Feb 16 for judgement as experts conclude evidence on Bata, Salsa dance

The Customary Court Abuja has fixed February 16, 2021 for judgement in the case filed by Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, Nigeria seeking a declaration that bata dance is the root of salsa dance.

The court presided over by Hon. Olufemi Yemisi, Hon. Akinfiresoye Tosin and Hon. Ehusani Simpa heard the testimony of Expert witnesses, Mr. Opeyemi Raji, Mr. Seun Awobajo and Mr. Omolade Dalmas.

Mr. Raji and Mr. Awobajo, veteran members of the Guild of Nigerian Dance Practitioners, gave their testimony in person while Mr. Dalmas, a dance historian, testified virtually.

The Customary Court in a landmark and notable ruling had earlier granted leave for the hearing of Expert evidence by virtual means.

Commending the witnesses, Presiding Judge, Hon. Olufemi Yemisi observed that “the testimony of the Experts demonstrating this rich cultural heritage has been quite informative, captivating, entertaining and enlightening”.

In his final summation, Counsel to the Applicant, Mr. Folarin Aluko of Trumann Rockwood Solicitors, prayed the Court to grant the orders sought for the recognition, preservation and celebration of the culture of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria.

He urged the Court to validate the historical and cultural contributions of the Yoruba’s Bata dance in the interest of natural justice, equity and good conscience.

Counsel to the Respondent, Mr. Bulus Atsen and Ebenezer Amadi urged the Court to do justice in the circumstance.

The suit which has garnered considerable local and international attention seeks the judicial recognition, authentication and declaration of Bata dance of the Yoruba people of Southwest Nigeria, as the origin and source of Salsa.


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