The Federal Government has dissolved the Advertising Standard Panel, ASP, for approving the trending ‘All Eyes on The Judiciary’ billboards.
The Director-General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, Dr. Olalekan Fadolapo announced the dissolution of the panel in a statement on Tuesday.
The billboards which have now been brought down across the country, are illustrated with the image of a watchful eagle with the caption, “All Eyes on the Election Tribunal Judges.”
In the statement, Fadolapo disclosed that ARCON ordered the removal of the advertisement because the billboards were not properly vetted by ASP.
Explaining the reasons for bringing down the billboards, ARCON said the issue on the central theme of the campaign in the advertisement is a matter pending before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The regulatory body stated that any matter awaiting judicial pronouncement is, by virtue of the Nigerian legal system, precluded from being a subject of public statement, debate, discussion or advertisement.
ARCON also disclosed that the advertisement is considered blackmail against the Nigerian Judiciary, the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and particularly the justices of the tribunal who are expected to discharge their judicial functions without fear or favour over the matter before them.
The body, however, vowed to set up a committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the approval of the billboards.
ARCON described the content of the billboards as inappropriate, saying it breached vetting guidelines.
The statement further disclosed that the Director and Deputy Director, Regulations have also been suspended to enable investigation into the matter.