FDA Alcohol Ad ban: Supreme Court postpones date for judgement to April 24

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Supreme Court of Ghana
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The Supreme Court has postponed its judgement for the case filed by Mark Darlington Osae against FDA’s directive which banned celebrities in alcoholic advertisements.

In court on Wednesday, April 10, a panel of seven judges fixed a new date, April 24, for the final judgement on the case.

Uncertainties surrounding the date for the celebration of the Eid-ul-Fitr after a Ramadan fast contributed to the adjournment.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), had earlier issued a directive that placed a ban on celebrities from advertising for alcoholic beverages.

The FDA’s directive which barred the use of celebrities in advertisement for alcoholic beverages was aimed at protecting minors from being influenced by celebrities into alcoholism.

However, the Plaintiff in the case, Mark Darlington Osae, Manager of Hiplife artistes -Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze, is seeking an order from the apex court to rule the FDA’s guideline as unconstitutional as it violates the right to non-discrimination as guaranteed by Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

Per the writ filed by Mark Darlington Osae on November 11, 2022, the artiste manager is seeking a declaration that “on a true and proper interpretation of Article 17(1) and (2) which guarantee equality before the law and prohibits discrimination against persons on grounds of social or economic status, occupation, among others, Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published by the 1st Defendant on 1st February 2016 which provides that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising” is discriminatory, inconsistent with and in contravention of articles 17(1) and 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution, and thus unconstitutional.

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“That on a true and proper interpretation of Article 17(1) and (2), Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods published by the 1st Defendant on 1st February 2016, which prohibits well known personalities and professionals from advertising alcoholic products is inconsistent with and in contravention of articles 17(1) and 17 (2) of the 1992 Constitution which guarantee equality before the law and prohibits discrimination against persons on grounds of social or economic status, occupation amongst others and consequently null, void and unenforceable.

“An order striking down Guideline 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of foods published by the 1st Defendant on 1st February 2016 as being inconsistent with and in contravention of the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution and as such a nullity.”