FG Dissolves Advertising Body Over Approval Of ‘All Eyes On The Judiciary’ Dillboards

The billboards have raised concerns of blackmail towards the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
By Emeka Kofi

The Federal Government has taken the decision to dissolve the Advertising Standard Panel (ASP) responsible for approving the ‘All Eyes on The Judiciary’ billboards, a move confirmed by Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, the Director-General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), in a statement on Tuesday.

The billboards have raised concerns of blackmail towards the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. The ASP, a key body under the Council, tasked with ensuring advertisements adhere to both the laws of the Federation and the advertising profession’s ethical code, has been dissolved.

Additionally, Fadolapo mentioned that the Council has temporarily suspended its Director and Deputy Director in charge of Regulations to facilitate investigations into the matter.

The statement reads, “The attention of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeriə [ARCON) has been drawn to the “All Eyes on the Judiciary” advertisements exposed on some billboards across the country.  

“The Advertising Standards Panel of the Council also erred in the approval of one of the concepts as the advertisement failed to vet guidelines on the following grounds: 

“The cause forming the central theme of the campaign in the advertisement is a matter pending before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. Hence, it’s jus pendis. 

“A matter being jus pendis and awaiting judicial pronouncement is, by virtue of the Nigerian legal system, precluded from being a subject of public statement, debate, discussion, advertisement, etc.

“The advertisement is controversial and capable of instigating public unrest and breach of public peace. 

“The advertisement is considered blackmail against the Nigerian Judiciary, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, and particularly the Honourable Justices of the Tribunal who are expected to discharge their judicial functions without fear or favour over a matter that is currently jus pendis.” 

According to the Director-General of ARCON, the Council will establish a committee to examine the factors that led to the “mistaken approval” of a particular advertising concept and the violation of the vetting guidelines.

“Consequently, the Director and Deputy Director, Regulations have also been suspended. The suspension is to enable an unprejudiced investigation of the issue. The Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) Secretariat failing to diligently exercise its function as the gatekeeper of advertising, advertisement, and marketing communications is hereby dissolved.”


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