ARCON Nigeria insists on pressing ahead with its N30 billion grievance against Facebook/META

The N30 billion lawsuit brought by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria against Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp platforms) and its representative AT3 Resources Limited will be heard by the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division, in October.

The court gave the nod pursuant to this application by ARCON against the social media giant for violation of the extant advertising laws of Nigeria.

The writ was served at the Meta corporate headquarters of Meta, which also owns Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp social media platforms.

Olalekan Fadolapo, the Director-General of ARCON, detailed the rationale behind the lawsuit.

ARCON is requesting a declaration, among other things, that Meta Platforms Incorporated’s continued publication and exposure of various advertisements targeted at the Nigerian market on Facebook and Instagram without making sure they are vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful, and a violation of the country’s current advertising laws.

The Nigerian Government has lost money as a result of Meta Platforms Incorporated’s ongoing exposure of unscreened advertisements, according to the country’s top regulating agency for advertising.

In an interview with The PUNCH, Fadolapo stated that ARCON had been given permission by the Federal High Court of Abuja to serve Meta with a summons. The company’s corporate headquarters in the United States received the writ.

Fadolapo also elaborated that once Meta asserted that the firm lacked a physical office in Nigeria, the choice to service the company at its corporate headquarters became imperative.

He stated: “The case is coming up this October because the level of shenanigans that is happening in that place (Facebook) is too much. But trust me, we will use all legal means to sanitize that space.

What we are saying is that what they are showing to the Nigerian audience, which is our territorial space is indecent. We will not go and regulate the media in the US, but what we will do is regulate the media space here in Nigeria.”

He added, “They said they don’t have an office in Nigeria, but they are doing business in Nigeria. So, we are not concerned about their office, we are concerned about the business they are doing in Nigeria. If you are doing business in Nigeria, you are supposed to abide by Nigerian laws.”