Tomato Paste Reviewer Chioma Okoli Held in Custody as Legal Battle Continues

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The case stems from a Facebook post Okoli made in September 2023 criticizing the taste of Nagiko Tomato Mix, a product from Erisco Foods Limited.

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Chioma Okoli, a woman who posted a review of a tomato paste product on Facebook, to be held in Suleja Correctional Centre until May 31st. Ms. Okoli will remain in custody while awaiting a ruling on her bail application.

The case stems from a Facebook post Okoli made in September 2023 criticizing the taste of Nagiko Tomato Mix, a product from Erisco Foods Limited.

Erisco subsequently filed a lawsuit against Okoli, accusing her of conspiracy and cyberstalking.

Okoli, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, claims the review reflected her genuine experience with the product.

Her lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, also revealed that Okoli tragically suffered a miscarriage during the course of the case.

Erisco Foods, led by Chief Executive Officer, Eric Omeofia, alleged that Okoli’s review damaged the company’s reputation.

The charges against Okoli specifically cite Nigeria’s Cyber Crime Prohibition Act. Prosecutors claim Okoli’s post aimed to incite people against Erisco with false information and cause them distress.

That you Chioma Edoka Okoli also known as Chioma Egodi Jnr, Happiness Obas now at large And Don Kashking now at large ‘m’ of on or about sometime in the month of September 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired among yourself and intentionally sent a message by means of computer and social media network such as Facebook, by using your Facebook handle by name Chioma Egodi Jnr, with the intention of instigating people against Erisco Foods Limited, knowing the said information to be false and with intent to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will, or needless anxiety to Erisco Foods Limited, the management, and members of the family, thereby committed an offense contrary and punishable under Section 27 (1) (B) Cyber Crime Prohibition Act.

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