Sarkodie Takes FDA to Court Over Alcohol Advertisement Ban
Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie appeared in the Supreme Court yesterday to contest a guideline issued by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), which prohibits celebrities and well-known personalities from endorsing alcoholic products.
The case was initiated by Mark Darlington Osae, the manager of Hiplife artists Reggie ‘N’ Bollie and Skrewfaze. The plaintiff argues that the FDA’s guideline is unconstitutional as it infringes upon the right to non-discrimination guaranteed by Article 17 of the 1992 Constitution.
Article 17(1) of the Constitution asserts that all individuals are equal before the law, while Article 17(2) prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, color, ethnic origin, religion, creed, or social and economic status.
The case, initially scheduled to be heard by a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court, was adjourned to January 17.
The specific guideline in question, 3.2.10 of the Guidelines for the Advertisement of Foods, was issued by the FDA on February 1, 2016, stating that “No well-known personality or professional shall be used in alcoholic beverage advertising.” The FDA argues that the guideline is necessary to prevent minors from being influenced by celebrities and getting hooked on alcohol.
Mark Darlington Osae, also the Chairman and Co-Founder of Ghana Music Alliance, filed the case in November of the previous year, naming the FDA and the Attorney General as defendants. He seeks a declaration that Guideline 3.2.10 is discriminatory and unconstitutional, violating the equality provisions of Article 17(1) and 17(2) of the 1992 Constitution. Additionally, he requests the Apex Court to nullify and strike down the guideline as inconsistent with the Constitution.