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The Nigerian federal government is taking Mark Zuckerberg to court over breach of Nigerian law

he Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) disclosed that it is suing Meta Platforms Incorporated (owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms) and its agent AT3 Resources Limited at the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division.

The class action law-suit results from what the regulatory body noted to be a breach of Nigeria’s censorship laws. The FG disclosed that Meta advertises indiscriminately, without regard for what is allowed by the Nigerian government to be advertised to its people and what is not.

In a statement released by ARCON, the regulatory body remarked, “ARCON is seeking a declaration, among others, that the continued publication and exposure of various advertisements directed at the Nigerian market through Facebook and Instagram platforms by Meta Platforms Incorporated without ensuring same is vetted and approved before exposure is illegal, unlawful and a violation of the extant advertising law in Nigeria.”

The regulatory body also revealed that the Nigerian government has lost a lot of revenue as a result of Meta Platform Incorporated’s unsystematic advertising. It is interesting to note that earlier this year in May, Nigeria’s FG noted that it had an issue with Facebook, read story here….

The Nigerian FG is demanding that the sum of N30 billion be paid as compensation for Meta’s disregard of the country’s censorship laws and the loss in revenue it has caused the Nigerian government.

In an interview with Punch NG, ARCON Director-General, Olalekan Fadolapo, stressed that the decision to take legal action was the result of several failed attempts to negotiate with the tech giants.

He said, “ARCON wrote to some online platform owners, requesting for a meeting to agree on the regulatory framework and protocol for advertising on online platforms. Meta neither acknowledged nor attended the meeting. After a follow-up call, we got a promise that they will revert formally which never came.”

The Nigerian FG’s grievance with Meta is not the first time it has had a problem with a premier social media platform. From 2022 till present, the Buhari administration decided to wage a crusade against Twitter, even going as far as demanding that Jack Dorsey meet them in court, and banning the use of Twitter in the country, which cost the country $600 million in revenue

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