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Tinubu Didn’t Order Removal Of “All Eyes On Judiciary” Billboards – ARCON DG



Tinubu Didn’t Order Removal Of "All Eyes On Judiciary" Billboards - ARCON DG

Olalekan Fadolapo, director-general of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), says President Bola Tinubu did not order the removal of the “all eyes on the judiciary” billboards in parts of the country.

On Tuesday, ARCON directed the removal of the billboards sponsored by a group known as the Diasporas for Good Governance.

ARCON also dissolved its advertising standards panel for approving billboards targeted at the presidential election petition tribunal.

Phrank Shaibu, an aide to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, had described the development as an assault on freedom of speech.

Speaking in an interview with PUNCH on Saturday, Fadolapo said the agency’s decision was not influenced by Tinubu as being speculated in some quarters.

He said the steps taken so far by the council, including the suspension of the director and deputy director of regulations, are administrative procedures.

“Our people are extremely biased. Now, this advert has nothing to do with the presidency, I hope we all know this,” PUNCH quoted Fadolapo as saying.

“These adverts have a lot to do with the judiciary; it has absolutely nothing to do with the presidency. I don’t know why they would say that the President asked us or the presidency asked us to punish them. How will the presidency interfere with this?

“The presidency has not at any point in time interfered in this issue. This is an administrative procedure. Someone erred and we looked at it to confirm that they erred and you did not fire them.

“The easiest thing to do is to give them a fair hearing and in the process of giving them a fair hearing, we are asking them to please step down from the offices they are occupying to be able to investigate properly.

“How does the presidency now come into this? The judiciary is supposed to be the one that they will say is influencing us and nobody in the judiciary has even made a statement on this.

“Don’t forget that there are other adverts worse than this on social media that we are even trying to track and pull down, posting some of these judiciary members’ names, their pictures on social media, and all of that.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with the presidency; the presidency has not interfered and I don’t think the presidency will interfere. The presidency is dealing with so many things and they have given each agency the independence to do their work.”

Fadolapo said the suspended officials would appear before a committee that would review the entire process and that they would be given fair hearing in the course of the investigation.

He said the council is taking “necessary actions” against the billboard owners, adding that all outdoor organisations involved will be sanctioned.

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