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Nigerian Woman Faces Jail Time for Writing Negative Review About Can of Tomatoes

erisco foods tomato paste
Erisco Foods Limited

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A pregnant Nigerian woman is facing potential prison time for criticizing a can of tomato puree on Facebook.

Back in September, a 39-year-old entrepreneur named Chioma Okoli shared an image of Erisco Foods Limited’s ‘Nagiko Tomato Mix’ with her 18,000 followers and described it as being too sweet.


About a week later, she was arrested for violating parts of the country’s 2015 Cybercrime Act. According to a recent report by CNN, she could be looking at up to 3 years behind bars if found guilty on all charges. (Other reports give different estimates; the Daily Mail, for example, says she could be facing up to 7 years.)

Erisco Foods is also suing her for over $3 million USD in damages, claiming they’ve lost business as a result of her opinion.

“Chioma’s retaliatory remarks about our product, ‘Nagiko Tomato Mix,’ resulted in several suppliers deciding to disassociate themselves from us,” the company shared in a Facebook post. In the comments section, whoever manages their Facebook page added this off the wall statement:

Her resolve to further damage the company’s reputation became more apparent in her response to another Facebook user, Don KashKing, who asked, “Pls can we now spoil the product,” and Chioma Egodi Jnr. responded, “done already, bro.”

At this point, it became evident that the intent was to maliciously kill the product and run us out of the market.

While most people sided with Okoli, the company does seem to have a number of loyalists. “No matter what the enemies say or do, Erisco remains the best and will continue to prosper,” said Facebook user Okechukwu Okoye. 

The actual Nigerian police also issued this press release about the “Erisco Tomato matter,” saying there’s “compelling evidence” that Okoli has violated laws “related to the proper use of the cyber space.”

But Erisco’s aggressive behavior has opened up a can of something far worse than shitty tomato paste.

Beyond Okoli’s legal team filing a countersuit for a violation of her rights, protests and calls for a boycott against Erisco have arisen.

The CEO of Erisco Foods Limited is Eric Umeofia, “who is described as Africa’s top tomato paste maker,” PM News Nigeria reports. According to the publication, Umeofia thinks a “powerful syndicate” of tomato paste importers is behind the negative review.

Here’s an Instagram post from earlier this year which proves that Erisco tomato paste is “safe for consumption,” according to Erisco.

Written by Editorial Team

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