The Federal High Court, sitting in Osogbo has ruled in Mr Kunle Rasheed Adegoke K RAD’s favour and compelled APCON to pay N1m in damages for lacking the requisite powers to regulate the onetime Osun State Governorship Canditate, under APC, being a non-advertising practitioner.
Justice P. O. Lifu in a judgement delivered on Tuesday the 28th of May, 2019 ruled that APCON, being an advertising regulator had no power to tamper with K-Rad’s campaign banners and billboards as such powers could only be exercised on her members alone. The judge specifically held that APCON lacked the power to regulate persons who were not advertising practitioners including K-Rad, saying the defendant’s act of posting removal notice on a campaign billboard belonging to the plaintiff was null and void.
Although the judge found that the politician did not convince him on the allegation that APCON was the one that destroyed and carted away his campaign materials and so would not be entitled to his prayer for aggravated damages running into millions of naira, the judge however awarded a sum of N1m general damages against the agency, to be paid to the plaintiff. The court, in addition awarded a cost of N50, 000 against APCON and granted an injunctive order restraining her and her agents from further tampering with the plaintiff’s campaign materials.
The politician who himself is a lawyer had last year dragged the advertising regulatory body before the Federal High Court in Osogbo in a suit marked FHC/OS/CS/39/2018, accusing the agency of posting removal notices on his campaign banners in the state.
The suit was preceded by a letter through the plaintiff’s lawyers, by which he described APCON’s acts as defamatory and an advertisement of his person to the whole world as a debtor and an irresponsible law breaker. The protest letter was, however, followed by an outright removal and confiscation of the campaign banners in July 2018.
Apparently miffed, the lawyer-cum-politician sought a judicial redress and submitted six legal questions for the court to determine, upon which he prayed the court for some nine reliefs against the regulatory agency.
K-RAD’s suit was prosecuted by a team of lawyers comprising Akin Omisade, Abdulrahman Okunade, Muhydeen Abiodun Adeoye and Ahmad Remi AbdulLateef while the duo of Okorie Michael Okorie and Olabisi O. Agberotimi defended APCON.
It will be recalled that it’s barely one year after K-RAD instituted a court action to challenge the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON)’s powers to remove his campaign banners and billboards from public spaces in Osun State.