Entertainment

Sarkodie storms Supreme Court to fight FDA

The case was filed by Mark Darlington Osae, manager of Hiplife artists -Reggie ‘N’ Bollie, and Skrewfaze

Popular Hiplife artiste, Michael Owusu Addo, aka Sarkodie, has filed a case at the Supreme Court challenging a guideline by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) prohibiting celebrities and well-known personalities from being used for advertising alcoholic products.

The case was filed by Mark Darlington Osae, manager of Hiplife artists -Reggie ‘N’ Bollie, and Skrewfaze.

It is the case of the plaintiff that the guideline by the FDA is unconstitutional as it violated the right against discrimination as guaranteed by Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.

Article 17(1) of the Constitution stipulates that all  persons shall be equal before the law, while Article 17(2) states that “a person shall not be discriminated on grounds of gender, race, colour , ethnic origin, religion, creed  or social or economic status”.

Adjournment 

A seven – member panel of the apex court was expected to hear the constitutional matter but the case was adjourned to 17 January 2024.

Sarkodie was in court with lawyer for the plaintiff, Bobby Banson.

Ban 

Guideline 3.2.10 of Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods was published by the FDA on 1 February 2016.

It states that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising”.

The FDA contended that the guideline was necessary to stop minors being hooked to alcohol due to the influence of celebrities.

In November last year, Mr Osae, who is also the chairman and co-founder of Ghana Music Alliance, dragged the FDA and the Attorney General to the apex court.

He 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 1 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.

He is also asking the apex court for a declaration “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.”

He is also seeking “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”.

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