- The Federal Government has constituted a special Tribunal to attend to cases of adverts offenders under the ARCON Act.
- It also named retired Justice Cecelia Olatoregun as the Tribunal’s Chairman.
- This is coming a few days after ARCON commenced the implementation of mandatory vetting of all social media adverts.
The Federal Government has constituted an Advertising Offences Tribunal to adjudicate offences created under the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) Act No.23 of 2022. The government also named retired Justice Cecelia Olatoregun as the Tribunal’s Chairman.
ARCON in a statement released on Friday said four other members were appointed for the Tribunal. It added that the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the appointments in line with Section 38 of the ARCON Act 2022.
ARCON said the Tribunal is an independent specialized judicial body established to ensure equity, openness, fairness, and impartiality in all disputes and offences committed or allegedly committed under the Act. The Tribunal will advocate speedy hearing and timely resolution of all matters before it.
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The Tribunal Chairman
Justice Olatoregun was a Judge of the Federal High Court from July 2000 to November 2019. Before her appointment to the bench, she was the Chief Registrar and Admiralty Marshal of the Federal High Court from November 1998 to July 2000. As an administrative Judge, she oversaw 11 Judges in the Lagos Division and presided over 4 divisions of the Federal High Court at different times.
She is a member of the International Association of Women Judges in Nigeria, Commonwealth Magistrate and Judges Association, among others. Justice Olatoregun has facilitated and delivered papers at conferences and seminars, within and outside the country. Through this appointment, she becomes the Tribunal’s first Chairman.
The other four members of the Tribunal are Mr. Charles Odenigbo, Mr. Moroof Aileru Esq, Mrs. Julia Oku Jacks, and Mr. Idorenyen Enang.
- Mr. Charles Odenigbo is a Registered Advertising Practitioner, and former Executive Secretary of the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), an advertising, entertainment, and media law expert with almost three decades of experience in law practice. Mr. Odenigbo was recently appointed as the Alternate Chairman of the Media and Creative Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He is the Director General of Centre for Media Law and Development.
- Mr. Moroof Aileru, a legal practitioner with over twenty (20] years post call experience in litigation. A member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), he is vastly experienced in arbitration, corporate law practice and litigation.
- Mrs. Julia Oku Jacks, a Fellow of the profession. She is one of the founding partners of SO&U Saatchi & Saatchi. Mrs. Jack is one of the distinguished and respected female practitioners in the Nigeria Advertising industry. She has over three decades worked experience in academics, advertising and marketing communications. She has chaired several industry creative awards and has facilitated several training courses within and outside the industry.
- Mr. Idorenyen Enang, a Fellow of the profession and former President of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN). He is currently the President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN). Mr. Enang served as marketing Director and Chief Executive Officer of several multinational companies and has held senior positions on the board of several global organizations within and outside the country.
ARCON targets social media adverts
The constitution of the Tribunal is coming a few days after ARCON started the implementation of mandatory vetting of all social media adverts in Nigeria. Citing the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and the ARCON Act, the Council has said that all skit makers, social media influencers, and bloggers, among others, must seek its approval before advertising any product or service online.
The Council earlier this week released the rates for vetting social media adverts and commenced implementation on May 9, 2023.
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According to the regulator, anyone caught violating the Act would be sanctioned and prosecuted in a court of law.