By Ogbonna Casmir, Enugu
Renowned advertising Company giant, ROCANA Nigeria Limited threatened to sue Enugu State government for allegedly destructing its billboards located in Enugu State even when it has no constitutional powers to so.
ROCANA in a statutory pre-action notice to the state government dated 16th August, 2016 in the matter of interpretation of sections 7(5), the Fourth Schedule item K(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and section 1 & 7 Advertising Practitioners (Registration) E. T. C. Act, Cap A7 LFN 2004, is to claim among other things N5 billion for malicious damages.
According to the ‘Pre-Action Notice’ signed by Compliance Consultant, Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, which was made available to our correspondent, it noted that the letter is in compliance with the law of the issuance of ‘Pre-Action Notice’.
ROCANA NIG stated that as law abiding corporate citizen of Nigeria, “we have a duty cast upon us to approach the Honourable court as provided in Section 6(6)(a) & (b) of the Nigeria Constitution, for the declaration of the correct position of our Laws over what can now be described as indiscriminate demolition, removal of Advertising Flex and Carting away our outdoor billboards, by your agents. Moreso, illegally converting our advertising outdoor billboards and post, for political party candidate promotions, and the state government deploying a purported ‘Signage and Advertising Edicts’”.
The Advertising Company regretted that activities of the Government of Enugu State have left its financial book with huge debt and losses of millions of naira in lost business patronages. “Our observations have shown that there is a new trend among the council areas and the State Governments to illegally engage ‘the services of the consultants’ for collection of fees, regulation, monitoring and control of outdoor advertising within their various jurisdictions.”
It warned the state government that the claims proposed against it, jointly and or severally shall be: “declaratory reliefs; damages and perpetual injunction.”
Meanwhile, Enugu State House of Assembly has fixed Tuesday 4th October, 2016 (tomorrow) for public hearing on a bill for a law to provide for regulation of outdoor structures for display of signage, hoarding and advertising in Enugu State and for connected purposes.