Advert regulatory body suspends top officials over controversial billboard

The Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria has announced the suspension of two high-ranking officials for approving the ‘All Eyes on Judiciary’ billboard advert in Abuja.

This followed the dissolution of the Secretariat of the Advertising Standard Panel by the Federal Government over its approval of billboards termed as blackmailing the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal with the title: ‘All Eyes on The Judiciary.’The Director-General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, who confirmed the suspension in a statement said the affected officials include the Director and Deputy Director, Regulations of the council.

Fadolapo said 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 in part reads: “The Council would set up a committee to investigate the circumstances leading to the “erroneous approval” of one of the concepts of the advert and the breach 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 Secretariat failing to diligently exercise its function as the gatekeeper of advertising, advertisement, and marketing communications is hereby dissolved.”