After being detained by Erisco for her review of Nagiko Tin Tomato, Chioma Egodi has been freed on bail following a settlement between the parties.
Chioma Egodi, an Erisco consumer, was arrested by the police after she posted a product review on Facebook. She had bought a tin of Nagiko tomatoes, a product of Erisco Foods Ltd, and found the taste to be too sweet. She asked her friends on Facebook if they had the same experience or if it was a faulty product.
Her post received various comments from other consumers, some of whom praised the product and others who shared their dissatisfaction. However, Erisco Foods Ltd. did not appreciate her feedback and issued a statement accusing her of defamation and threatening legal action.
Egodi tried to explain that she did not intend to harm the company’s reputation and that she was only seeking clarification. However, her explanation fell on deaf ears as Erisco Foods Ltd. reportedly involved the police, who arrested her and detained her till her release today, Tuesday, September 26, StechiteGist Media reports.
The public was outraged and supportive of Egodi after the incident. Many people on social media criticized Erisco Foods Ltd. for misusing their authority and infringing on Egodi’s right to express himself. They also urged others to stop buying any Erisco products, while an Economic analyst commented on the Tomato paste on his X platform, saying, “It tastes like beer.”
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), a government agency that regulates consumer rights, intervened in the matter and secured Egodi’s release on bail. The FCCPC also stated that it was investigating the incident and that criminality in commerce was an exception. The agency added that mutual commitments by both parties before the police (to which FCCPC is not a party) did not affect its investigation.
This incident has exposed the challenges faced by consumers in Nigeria, who often have to deal with substandard products and services, as well as intimidation and harassment from producers. It has also highlighted the need for more awareness and protection of consumer rights, as well as more civil dialogue between consumers and producers.