SFH Sued Over Condom Advert

Society for Family Health has been sued over a Gold Circle condom advert published in a local newspaper on May 12.

In the suit filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos by Sonnie Ekwowusi on behalf of the Project for Human Development (PHD), the applicant is asking the court to declare that the said condom advert, which was published without the Health risk warning clause, is illegal and unconstitutional because it contradicted Articles 2,3 4, 48, 49 and 50 of the Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice, Sales Promotion and Other Rights/Restrictions on Practice (fifth edition) of the laws of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).

Joined in the suit filed pursuant to Order 2 Rules (1)(2)(3) & (4) of the Fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009, of the 1999 Constitution, are The Guardian Newspapers Limited and APCON.

PHD also stated that the publication without Warning Clause “the condom is not 100 percent safe, total abstinence or faithfulness is the best option”, is contrary to Sections 17, 37, 38, 39 (3), 45 of the 1999 Constitution and Articles 17, 18, 27 and 29 of the African Charter on Human & Peoples’ Rights (Ratification Enforcement) Act, CAP 10.

The applicant is also asking the court to declare that the failure/negligence/refusal of the 1st respondent (Society for Family Health) to insert the aforesaid health risk warning clause on the packets of “Gold Circle” condom which it markets and advertises throughout Nigeria is contrary to article 49 of the APCON laws, sections 17, 37, 38, 39 (3), 45 of the 1999 Constitution and therefore illegal and unconstitutional.

PHD is also seeking a court declaration that the failure/negligence/refusal of the third respondent in ensuring that the first and second respondents insert the aforesaid health risk warning clause in order to comply with APCON laws was a dereliction of its duty as a national regulatory body and watch dog of the society.

The applicant is therefore asking the court to give an order directing the third respondent to henceforth ensure that no “Gold Circle” condom or any condom at all of the first respondent is advertised or published to the Nigerian public without compliance with APCON laws.

It also prayed the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the 1st respondent or their agent from further advertising the “Gold Circle” condom or any condom at all in The Guardian Newspaper or any other media or anywhere in Nigeria without compliance with APCON laws .

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