A University of Westminster trained Entertainment Lawyer, Rockson Igelige, has called for a proper legal framework to protect child actors in Nigeria such as Emmanuella Samuel.
Igelige stated this in a statement sequel to rising profile of the female comedienne and her invitation to the upper legislative chamber by the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki
Reacting, Igelige suggested that the invitation should open the door for Child Actors’ Act or Law in Nigeria.
Igelige advised the Nigeria Senate to be futuristic in their Law making like their counterparts in the Western World.
He said, ”Child Actors law has been in existence since 1939 or so”.
”The Coogan Law in California was created in response to the misfortune of Jackie Coogan.
Jackie Coogan was an extremely successful child television star who started his career in the days of Charlie Chaplin.
“Upon turning 18, Coogan discovered that his mother and stepfather had legally squandered all of his earnings,” he said.
The lawyer emphasised that such a Bill is necessary as a response to the plight of such successful child-actors like Emmanuella and others who earn millions of naira only to discover, upon reaching adulthood, that their parent or managers had spent almost all of their money.
According to him, “this discovery has always led to stars taking their parents or managers to court over money they earned as child actors being pilfered or mismanaged.
“We don`t need another of Jackie Coogan`s experience to prompt us to act. Who knows? There might be cases of Jackie Coogan among us here in Nigeria at the moment,” Igelige said.
Emmanuella is slated to feature in a Hollywood movie shot by Disney Studios.
She broke the news last week on Instagram.
Her post read, “Thanks @disneystudios God bless everyone whose support has added to bringing us here. I never dreamed of being here so soon. I miss Success. I love you all.”