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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

ADVAN To Sue FG Over New Advertising Regulation

Advertisers will sue the Nigeria Advertising Regulatory Commission over its controversial advertising regulations, backed by the Nigerian Advertisers Association.

ADVAN President Osamede Uwubanmwen revealed the news in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday.

Uwubanmwen said the legal action became necessary after all necessary avenues aimed at resolving the standoff with the regulatory committee had failed.

According to him, ADVAN’s argument rests on the fact that the newly introduced advertising law violates the Nigerian Constitution and therefore cannot be accepted by advertisers.

He further stated that, if allowed to take effect, the new advertising law would violate the fundamental human right to enter into a legal contract with another party.

He said, “With the announcement of ARCON, we will go to court to seek an explanation. We want to know if they can do this, because what we know about the Nigerian Constitution tells us a lot of things. For example, set up a group and give us a A retired judge as the person in charge does not work because this person cannot pass judgment again.

“The Constitution allows me to enter into legal contracts. It doesn’t make sense for ARCON to say it wants to get involved and perform the contract for me. Let me tell you why that is.”

Uwubanmwen said the association had drafted 50 questions challenging the legality of the new advertising law and would seek court interpretation on some of the controversial provisions.

Uwubanmwen challenged ARCON’s right to impose fines on penalties, as stipulated in the new ARCON Act, following a recent court decision quashing the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission’s fines imposed on some broadcasters.

He further criticized the Regulatory Commission for not engaging stakeholders during the drafting of the new advertising law.

Speaking to The PUNCH, Olalekan Fadolapo, director general of the Nigeria Advertising Regulatory Commission, said the new ARCON law is not unconstitutional.

He said the ARCON law was introduced to cleanse the advertising industry and get rid of the unfair practices that have stifled its growth for a long time.

Fadorapo said: “My question to them is – what part of the constitution? It’s not enough to say it’s unconstitutional. You should be able to say specifically – this part of the constitution. You should be able to fix it. The constitution’s The spirit and letter are fairness, fairness and justice.

Regarding advertisers’ claims that the new law would have ARCON dictate the terms of payment negotiated by advertisers and their clients, effectively violating their fundamental human rights to enter into legal contracts with other parties, Fadolapo said that the idea behind that particular provision of the law was not to infringe , but to ensure fairness to all parties involved.

He added: “ARCON has never said that when, what to pay or how to pay is at the negotiating table. They should not mislead the public. As a government agency, should we allow them to destroy this industry? What happens. They pay within 45 days max.

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