Olalekan Fadolapo, the Director-General of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON), clarified that President Bola Tinubu did not issue any directive for the removal of the “all eyes on the judiciary” billboards in various parts of the country.

On Tuesday, ARCON had instructed the removal of these billboards, which were sponsored by a group known as the Diasporas for Good Governance. Additionally, ARCON disbanded its advertising standards panel responsible for approving billboards related to the presidential election petition tribunal.

Phrank Shaibu, an aide to former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, criticized this move, viewing it as an infringement on freedom of speech.

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In an interview with PUNCH on Saturday, Fadolapo stated that the agency’s decisions were not influenced by President Tinubu, as some had speculated.

He explained that the actions taken by the council, including the suspension of the director and deputy director of regulations, were part of standard administrative procedures.

Fadolapo emphasized that these billboards were not related to the presidency but were primarily focused on the judiciary. He questioned why there were suggestions that the President or the presidency had intervened in the matter, asserting that there was no basis for such claims.

He further clarified, “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.”

Fadolapo also pointed out that the judiciary had not made any statements regarding this matter, dispelling notions that the judiciary was influencing ARCON’s actions.

Regarding the suspended officials, Fadolapo mentioned that they would have the opportunity to appear before a committee for a comprehensive review of the entire process. He assured that they would receive a fair hearing during the investigation.

He concluded by stating that the council is taking “necessary actions” against the owners of the billboards and that all outdoor organizations involved would face sanctions.


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