The members of Outdoor Advertising Association of Nigeria (OAAN) have sued Edo State government and its Consultant for N300million over illegal removal of billboard hoardings owned and sited by the outdoor agency owners in the state.
In a suit filed by Rufai’ I. A. Akanbi and Company on behalf of the association, the case is due for hearing in Benin City this Thursday, July 14.
OAAN is praying the court to mandate Edo State Government, Attorney General of Edo State as well as Osato Uwaifo and Company who are the consultants to the State on the regulation of outdoor advertising, to pay N300 million as claims for billboards that were either removed or damaged by the agents of the government.
It would be recalled that OAAN had earlier got an injunction from a court restraining the State government, through its agents from further removal or destruction of her members’ billboards in the state.
Investigation revealed that aftermath of the injunction, the Consultants to the State Government, Osato Uwaifo and company, in order not to face the wrath of the law for defiance, resorted to sending telephone short messages instead of their usual formal, typewritten notices demanding for payment of taxes and rates from the outdoor agency owners.
Industry analysts are of the view that the legal measures recently employed by OAAN as a body may head to finding a lasting solution to the cases of over-taxation and multiple taxation being perpetuated by most state governments across the country.
In line with the above, during the recently held poster awards ceremony at Eko Hotel and Suites,Victoria Island, Lagos, a legal luminary who is versed in advertising practice law and ethics, Barrister Odenigbo charged the outdoor advertising practitioners to be prepared to take their cases to the Supreme Court in order to be free from the burden of over- taxation and multiple rates charged by local governments and state governmental agencies.