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Chioma Okoli vs Erisco Foods: 300 Women Groups Boycott Nigerian Tomato Puree Brand Over Prosecution of Female Reviewer

Chioma Okoli vs Erisco Foods: 300 Women Groups Boycott Nigerian Tomato Puree Brand For Jailing Female Reviewer

A coalition of women’s rights groups in Nigeria has announced a boycott of Erisco Foods Ltd, manufacturers of a tomato puree – Nagiko Tomato Mix – which was reviewed by a female customer now facing prosecution by a Nigerian court.

The group comprising 300 rights organizations, under the aegis of Womanifesto, called on all Nigerian women to boycott all products of Erisco Foods Limited with immediate effect.

The group made this demand following the continuous incarceration of Tomato puree reviewer, Chioma Okoli following a complaint by the CEO of Erisco Foods Ltd, Eric Omeofia, in 2023.

 The company CEO alleged that Mrs Okoli had given an online review that negatively impacted its business when she claimed that the Nagiko Tomota Mix, a popular tomato puree by the firm, she bought had too much sugar. Her review was shared on her Facebook account.

Mrs Okoli was arrested by the police in September 2023 and faces charges of conspiracy and cyberstalking leveled against her by the Nigeria Police Force on behalf of Erisco Foods Ltd.

Her lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, accused the company and the police of breaching the fundamental rights of his client.

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Erisco Foods Review: Chioma Okoli Remanded in Prison

Chioma Okoli vs Erisco Foods: 300 Women Groups Boycott Nigerian Tomato Puree Brand For Jailing Female Reviewer
Chioma Okoli

Mrs Okoli, a reviewer of Erisco Foods Ltd, was remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre, on Tuesday, despite her “not guilty plea” following her arraignment on a two-count charges before a court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city .

She was later granted a N5 million bail by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, after spending 3 nights in prison following her prosecution.

Okoli is being prosecuted using section 24 of the Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act and accused of defaming Erisco Foods Ltd with review which was shared on the social media website, Facebook in 2023.

 As part of her bail conditions, Okoli was also required to provide two sureties, who must be her spouse or a relative, and had her passport deposited with the chief registrar of the court.

Erisco Foods Review: Chioma Okoli Allegedly Suffers Miscarriage

Mrs Okoli’s lawyer, Effiong told the court during her trial that his client suffered miscarriage in the course of the case and eventually lost her baby.

Mr. Effiong later explained in a Facebook post that he could not give more details on the loss of his client’s baby as evidences were already before the court.

Group Decry The continued harassment & detention of Chioma Okoli Over Erisco Foods Review

Womanifesto in a statement called on the Nigerian government to come to the aid of Mrs Okoli. The statement was signed by the Executive Director of Women Advocates and Research Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi and other signatories on behalf of the over 300 women organizations.

The statement titled, “Womanifesto Demands Release of Chioma Okoli”, reads: “We call on all Nigerian women to join us to #BoycottErisco products with immediate effect, for the following reasons:

“The continued harassment & detention of Chioma Okoli. The insufferable stress and trauma that has been inflicted on Chioma Okoli since September 2023 to date, which has also led to the loss of her pregnancy.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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