Nigerian Advertising Regulatory Agency, ARCON, orders immediate removal of "All Eyes On The Judiciary" billboards and suspends 2 senior workers | #NwokeukwuMascot
The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has ordered that all "All Eyes on the Judiciary" advertisements placed on some billboards across the country should be removed immediately.
The agency gave the directive in a circular released by its Director-General, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, explaining that the billboards breached some vital advertisement guidelines and indicted the Advertising Standards Panel of the Council for their approval.
According to the circular, the billboards are capable of causing public unrest and it is inappropriate to allow them to continue to be a subject of public discourse while petitions on presidential elections are still before the court of law.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has been drawn to the "All Eyes on the Judiciary" advertisements exposed on some billboards across the country.
“The concepts exposed were not approved by the Advertising Standards Panel, hence, the Council has directed that all the materials being exposed be brought down immediately and the violators sanctioned.
“The Advertising Standards Panel of the Council also erred in the approval of one of the concepts as the advertisement failed vetting 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 a 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.”
The statement added that the agency had therefore dissolved the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) and ordered the immediate suspension of the Director and Deputy Director (Regulation) for the same cause.
The statement added: “The Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) Secretariat failing to diligently exercise its function as the gatekeeper of advertising, advertisement and marketing communications is hereby dissolved.
“The council will set up a committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the erroneous approval of one of the concepts of the inappropriate advert and the breach of the vetting guidelines. Consequently, the Director and Deputy Director, Regulations have also been suspended. The suspension is to enable unprejudiced investigation of the issue.”