The Advertising Regulatory Council Of Nigeria (ARCON), has with immediate effect dissolved the Advertising Standards Panel Secretariat for failing to diligently exercise its’ function as the gatekeeper of advertising, advertisement and marketing communications.

In an official circular signed by the Director – General of ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo, the reasons for the dissolution of the Advertising Standards Panel of the council, were on approval of concepts of an advert currently on display on billboards across the country.

The advertisment that is captioned ” All Eyes On The Judiciary”, is said to have the concepts exposed, not being approved by the Advertising Standards Panel, hence, the council has directed that all the exposed material be brought down immediately and the violators sanctioned.

The Advertising Standards Panel Of the Council is said to have also erred in the approval of one of the concepts as the advertisment failed vetting guidelines on following grounds.
That the cause forming the central theme of the campaign in the advertisement is a matter pending before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, hence it is 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 said “All Eyes On The Judiciary” advertisement is controversial and capable of instigating public unrest and a breach of peace, and that the said advertisement is considered to be 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.

Fadolapo further revealed that 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. On this premise, the Director and Deputy Director of Regulations are also suspended. The suspension is to enable an unprejudiced investigation into the issue.

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