Hearing begins in NPAN suit against APCON

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LAGOS — Hearing begins today at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos in the suit instituted by the Newspaper proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, NPAN, against the Advertising Practitioners’ Council  of Nigeria, APCON, in which the association is challenging some provisions of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion.

In the suit filed on its behalf  by Tayo Oyetibo’s chambers,  the association wants the court to determine  whether Articles 21 and 137 of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion are not beyond APCON to the extent that they affect media houses who do not engage in the practice of advertising. Joined in the suit is the Inspector General of Police

Other issues canvassed for determination are:

*Whether the two articles are not inconsistent with the provisions of Section 39 of the 1999 constitution which guarantees the freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinion, and to receive and impart ideas without interference.

*Whether with regard to the provision of section 4 (1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, it is competent of APCON to create offences and impose penalties as done in the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion.

The Association is, therefore, seeking the following declarations:

*A declaration that Articles 21 and 137(a) of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion are ultra vires the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria in so far as the provisions of the Articles affect members of the Plaintiff’s Association who do not engage in the practice of advertising.

*A declaration that Article 21 of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion which requires that all advertisements except public notices, goodwill messages, obituaries and vacancies shall be presented for vetting  and approval by the Advertising  Standards Panel (ASP) before publication is inconsistent with the provisions of Section 39 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and therefore is unconstitutional, null and void

*A declaration that the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria has no power under the Advertising Practitioners (Registration Etc) Act Cap A7 Laws of the Federation 2004 to create  offences and impose penalties as done in Article 137(a) (b) and (c) of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion and as such the said Article 137 (a) (b) and (c) is unconstitutional, null and void.

*A perpetual injunction restraining the 1st Defendant from treating or continuing to treat Articles 21 and137 (a) of Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice  and Sales Promotion as valid Articles in the Code.

*A perpetual injunction restraining the defendants whether by themselves, their servants or agents and or representatives from implementing, or other wise applying the provisions of Articles 21 and 137 (a) (b) and (c) of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion against any members of the Plaintiff’s Association or their servants, officers or representatives.

 

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