By Ononye VC
A federal high court sitting in Abuja has granted the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) leave to serve a writ of summons on Meta, social media giants and owners of Facebook.
The court gave the nod pursuant to an application by ARCON in a pending ₦30 billion suit against the social media giants for violation of the extant advertising laws of Nigeria.
The writ is to be served at the United States corporate headquarters of Meta, which also owns Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
While Meta is the first defendant in the suit, AT3 Resources Limited is the second defendant.
ARCON is seeking a declaration that the publication of various advertisements and marketing communications materials targeted at Nigeria through Meta’s platforms without prior vetting and approval by Advertising Standards Panel is illegal.
The regulatory body also claimed that the act disregarded Nigerian culture, constitutional tenets, moral values and religious sensitivity of citizens.
ARCON is therefore seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their privies, agents, servants and associates from publishing any advertising or marketing communications materials without recourse to ARCON in line with the country’s advertising law.
It is also seeking ₦30 billion in fines and sanctions for the continued violations and infractions of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria Act No. 23 of 2022.