Gov’t Infringement Case Against Miss Liberia Backfires

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Assistant Minister for Tourism, Princess Turkolon

An Infringement of Intellectual Property Right lawsuit that Princess Turkolon, Assistant Minister for Tourism at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT), filed before the Monrovia City Court against Ms. Wokie Dolo, executive director of La Queen Entertainment, could likely suffer a major setback after a disclaimer was issued by a Nigerian-sponsored company, Miss University Africa (MUA) Organization.

Ms. Dolo is the current Miss Liberia, and the case against her resumed on Wednesday, August 14, where she was expected to show sufficient and legal reasons for hosting the Miss University Africa Pageant.

Dolo, however, argued that she is the legitimate representation of MUA, which is located in Oaks House, 5th Floor (Rear Wing), 39 Ogunnusi Road, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.

Moreover, Ms. Dolo claimed that she did not host the pageant show at the Cape Hotel Venue. Instead, she hosted only the audition, contrary to Minister Turkolon’s accusation that in the absence of a permit Ms. Dolo hosted the pageant.

In Turkolon’s lawsuit, she argued that on May 1, 2019, Ms. Dolo’s entity, La Queen Entertainment, sought a permit from MICAT to host the Miss University Africa Pageant, but the ministry denied her request.

Wokie Dolo, Miss Liberia at the center of intellectual property rights lawsuit

“Without the ministry’s permission,” the lawsuit alleges, “Ms. Dolo hosted the pageant show — in defiance to the permit — at the Cape Hotel Venue, which they (MICAT) said is an infringement of intellectual property rights of the ministry.”

However, in a document entitled, “Disclaimer,“ dated August 13, 2019, signed by one Taylor Nazzal, president of MUA, and addressed to the ministry, a copy of which is in the possession of the Daily Observer, it is quoted thus:

“This is to inform the general public that our attention has been drawn to an official permit issued on the letter headed paper of MICAT, issuing the franchise for Miss University Africa-Liberia to one Monique Modelling Agency, which is not known to us.”

It adds: “We wish to inform the general public, and all well-meaning Liberians that we do not have any records/application from Monique Modelling Agency seeking our franchise or to represent us in Liberia.

“The permit making the rounds in Liberia on the letter headed paper of the ministry, and purportedly signed by the acting director for Tourism was not done in consultation with the international headquarters of MUA.”

Therefore, it continues: “All franchise/appointments for country directors must first be vetted by us and approved with an official letter sent to such individual/agency before they can represent us in their country. This is not the case of Monique Modelling Agency.”

To this end, the communication says, “We would also like to inform the general public and all well-meaning Liberians that Ms. Wokie Dolo of La Queen Entertainment is the only franchise holder approved by us to send a delegate from Liberia for 2019.”

In conclusion, the letter says, “We are therefore asking all well-meaning Liberians to only work with Ms. Dolo as our franchise holder, and not Monique Modelling Agency. We have also officially written the Information Minister of Liberia, and carbon copied the Assistant Minister for Tourism to this effect.”

MUA organization was established in 2010 as a non-bikini pageant comprising 54 African countries aimed at discouraging indecent dressing, promoting good neighborliness among Africans and empowering African women to believe in themselves, thereby becoming better leaders. It is a registered International Trademark.

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