It is no longer news that Runtown has again been dragged before an Abuja High Court, following a fresh injunction, the fourth in two years served against him by the record label, Eric Many.
Douglas Jack Agu, popularly known as Runtown, recently released his first song this year in June after a prolonged bitter dispute with the label, Eric Many Records, which has been ongoing since 2016, after the singer announced that he was leaving the label.
His new song, Unleash is the lead single ahead of his upcoming album which he has hinted should be out before the end of the year, but the release of the new single not only announced the return of Runtown to the scene, but it also came with legal implications after it popped up on the radar of Eric Many, leading to an injunction accusing him of contempt of standing court orders.
Here is a time-line of the relationship between Runtown and Eric Many.
ALSO READ: Eric Many talks to Pulse on contract dispute
2014 – The setting up of Eric Many Records
The story of Eric Many reportedly began in February 2014, when singer Presh, of the defunct group KceePresh, met with Johnson Adumike, who is currently the General Manager of Eric Many Entertainment.
Okwudili Umenyiora, aka Dilly Motors, got involved at the point when they required funds, and with help from his friend, Cecil Hammond, CEO Flytime Entertainment, a contract was established leading to the formation of Eric Many Records with Dilly as head.
2014- Runtown signs with Eric Many
Runtown covers FV Magazine alongside Adonis Bosso
Runtown met Dilly in 2014 via a mutual friend, Bugo Aneto Okeke, a former manager at Eric Many Entertainment.
Following the success of his earlier singles like ‘Gallardo’ alongside Davido and his impressive performance at the 2014 edition of AY Live, which had Dilly in attendance, Runtown got signed unto Eric Many Records.
The contract was for a two-year term, which Runtown signed in May 2014, under the terms that he was to drop an album and be free to leave in 2016, with room of an extension.
ALSO READ: Full story of drama between Runtown and Eric Many
2015- Runtown releases debut album, Ghetto University
On November 23, Runtown released his debut album, Ghetto University, which was adjudged to be a critical and commercial success with 17 tracks and hit singles like ‘Lagos to Kampala’ with Wizkid, ‘The Banger’ featuring Uhuru and ‘Walahi’.
2016 – Runtown terminates contract, alleges threat to life
This was the year when everything boiled over and the house of cards came falling down.
In May, Runtown terminated his contract with the label, alleging amongst other things, threat to life and extortion.
In a statement issued by his lawyers, it read, ”It is our Client’s position that you have been in continued breach of several clauses of the recording agreement executed with him and have failed despite several notices, which occasioned his right to terminate the agreement.”
This was swiftly followed by a court injunction by the record label on grounds of fraudulent activities.
In an exclusive interview with Pulse, Runtown alleged that he had stared down the barrel of a gun pulled on him by his label boss, and have had to endure multiple verbal cases of abuse and a refusal to release his money.
A claim that Eric Many have since refuted.
After the injunction, both parties came together for a settlement out of court. All the cases were struck out, and Eric Many paid the pending royalties for that period, while they arranged a new set of rules of engagement.
There was also an agreement for extension in the contract for Runtown.
In November, Runtown released the hit single, ‘Mad Over You’, which saw him touring and performing at various concerts around the world, but the issue of finance again reared its head when Runtown requested a breakdown of revenue generated from the song.
It was at this point that the feud supposedly got worse with Eric Many going to court to file a new injunction.
2018 – The year of more lawsuits
The year started for Runtown on a busy note after he was slammed with two lawsuits by Eric Many Records.
A second injunction was served on the singer in March, while he was again taken to court in May on the grounds that he has failed to fulfil his obligations to the label as he was still under contract till June 22 2018, owing them an album and N267m in investments expended.
“While our contract is supposed to fall due for expiration on 22nd June 2018, Eric Many now has an outstanding balance of about N266,694,755.08 to recoup on our investment and expenses on Runtown’s career.”, the statement read.
Runtown who had travelled out to the United States for an event in January did not return to the country all through this period and was unable to release any new song or engage in performances.
Present state of things
However, perhaps buoyed by the expiration of the contract on June 22, Runtown launched his own label, Sound God Music Group on June 25 and released a new single ‘Unleash’ on Friday, June 29.
This move prompted the label to again file a fresh injunction against Runtown before the Abuja High Court on the grounds of contempt of court orders following the release of the song.
Pulse contacted Runtown’s team following the court injunction, but they declined to comment on the issue.