The Federal High Court sitting in FCT, Abuja has granted the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) the leave to serve the writ of summons and all other Court processes including hearing notices on the social media tech giant META, owners of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp social media apps at her Corporate head office in USA.
The nod by the Court was given pursuant to an application by ARCON in her N30b suit against the internet giant who is the 1st Defendant in the pending suit for the violation of the extant advertising laws of Nigeria. The second Defendant is AT3 Resources Limited.
ARCON is seeking, among others, a declaration that the publication and exposure of various advertisements and marketing communications materials targeted at the Nigeria market and in Nigeria through the online/social media platforms of the 1st Defendant which include Facebook and Instagram by the Defendants without the prior vetting and approval by the Advertising Standards Panel (ASP), and having no regards for the Nigerian culture, constitutional tenets, moral values and religious sensitivity of the Nigerian people is illegal, unlawful and a violation of extant advertising laws in Nigeria.
It also seeks an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, their privies, agents, assigns, servants, workers, associates or however constituted or described from publishing or exposing any advertisement and marketing communications material targeted at the Nigeria market and in Nigeria through the online/social media platforms of the 1st Defendant without first submitting the proposed advertisement and marketing communication to the Plaintiff for vetting and approval before exposure in line with the Nigerian Advertising Law.
ARCON is seeking the sum of N30bn in fines and sanctions for the continued violations and infractions of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No. 23 of 2022.