The Lagos State Government on Thursday disclosed that it had instituted a legal action against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its affiliate, Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), for allegedly violating the state’s outdoor advertising law.
The state government observed that the strike by the Judicial Staff Union of Union (JUSUN) had caused a delay in the completion of court process, even though the process would be finalised immediately after the union called off the action.
A team of legal advisers of the Lagos State Advertising and Signage Agency (LASAA) comprising Mrs. Oyeyemi Lekan-Osunmakinde and Mr. Hafiz Shoremi-Balogun of Priory Terrace Solicitors disclosed this in a four-paragraph statement yesterday.
The statement said the management of LASAA “has concluded plans to sue the PDP) and its affiliates for brazen violation of its constitutional mandate,” noting that the state government had resolved to pursue the matter to a logical conclusion.
It said the court action was the decision of the agency following “the continued illegal display of campaign materials of the candidates of the PDP on infrastructure within the state without recourse to laws regulating advertisement.
“Works have been concluded on the courts processes and that these would be filed immediately the JUSUN calls off their industrial action,” they said.
On Tuesday, the state government had directed a pro-President Goodluck Jonathan campaign group to remove the president’s campaign materials from highways and streets, citing the group’s failing comply with its regulation on outdoor advertising.
The state government explained its directive, which it said, became imperative due to the termination of about N350 million contracts with outdoor agencies duly registered with Lagos Advertising and Signage Agency (LASAA).
At a conference he addressed, the LASAA Managing Director, Mr. George Noah, directed that if TAN failed to heed the order, its enforcement team would remove the posters in line with the enabling law setting up the agency.
Noah said the agency was constrained by recent developments in the electioneering campaign in Lagos to bring to the fore impunity and illegality that posed immeasurable and long term damage to those who erect, operate and maintain billboards in the state.
Noah said the agency had been informed that in the last 48 hours, two advertisers in the outdoor sector had terminated multi-million naira contracts with outdoor agencies registered by LASAA to operate in the State.
He stated that the contracts “has been terminated as a result of the parallel and illegal deployment of Jonathan campaign materials on poles paid for by these advertisers. The two advertisers in question are Chinese Telecoms firm, Huawei and Glo Nigeria and the outdoor agencies affected are Touch Point Limited and Clearedge Limited. Both agencies have lost a whopping N350 million.
“The illegal and brazen act by agents of the PDP is unjust, inconsiderate and therefore unacceptable at a time outdoor advertising is facing stiff competition from television, radio and social media
“The illegal act by the agents of the PDP is capable of destroying outdoor agencies in our state. It will almost certainly leads to lay-off of workers and loss of revenue for our stakeholders,” he stated.
Noah added that in line with the agency’s statutory functions to regulate and control outdoor in Lagos, the agency hereby “directs the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria and its affiliates to remove all campaign materials illegally deployed on street lamp poles in Lagos State immediately, failing which our enforcement team will remove same in line with the enabling law setting up LASAA.