The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) has ordered the immediate nationwide destruction of billboards bearing “All eyes on the judiciary”.
Olalekan Fadolape, Director General of ARCON, gave the directive in a statement obtained by Peoples Gazette on Tuesday.
“The concept exposed were not approved by the Advertising Standards Panel, hence, the Council has directed that all materials being exposed be brought down immediately and the violators’ sanctioned,” Mr Fadolape said.
The statement is coming amid anxiety as Nigerians await the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT).
The five-member panel of the PEPT in Abuja, led by Justice Haruna Tsammani, had reserved its judgement on the petitions filed by the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Peter Obi, against President Bola Tinubu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general election.
The Tribunal, however, has until September 16 to deliver the judgment on the petitions before it.
Mr Fadolape said the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP) failed in the approval of one of the concepts as the advertisement failed to meet ARCON’s guidelines.
He explained that the cause forming the central theme of the campaign in the advertisement was a matter pending before the PEPT and was “controversial and capable of instigating public unrest and breach of public peace.”
He added that “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 judiciary functions without fear or favour over a matter that is currently jus pendis.”
Mr Fadolape, however, ordered the dissolution of the ASP secretariate for failing to diligently exercise its functions as the gatekeeper of advertising, advertisement and marketing communication.
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