The founder and President of Erisco Food Limited, Eris Umeofia, has defended his decision to call for the arrest of Chioma Egodi, a product reviewer, asserting that she aimed to undermine his business.
Umeofia further disclosed his intention to pursue legal action against Egodi, seeking a staggering N5 billion in damages.
The storm began when Chioma Egodi posted a review of Erisco’s product, Najiko Tomato Mix, on her Facebook page, alleging excessive sugar content and safety concerns. Erisco Foods faced backlash after orchestrating Egodi’s arrest in connection with her critique.
In an interview with ARISE NEWS, Umeofia vehemently defended his actions, stating, “We will not allow our efforts of 40 years to be destroyed by somebody that is the syndicate of importers that have been fighting our products since the beginning.”
He claimed that Egodi repeatedly asserted online that Erisco products were harmful, leaving him no choice but to request the assistance of the Inspector General of Police in apprehending her.
Umeofia submitted a petition to the IGP, titled “Complaint Of Criminal Conspiracy, Demarketing and Blackmailing Of Our Product and Cyberbullying Against An Organized Syndicate Faking Our Products After Failing To Extort Money From Us.”
Responding to criticism over the arrest, Umeofia stressed that Egodi was not a genuine customer of Erisco products. He insisted, “The consumer has rights. None of you will love your customers more than me. I love my customers, if no customers, I would not be what I am today, so none of you would come and advise me on how to handle my customers, I know they’re my strength. So, when customers come to destroy you, what is Nigeria thinking?”
Drawing parallels with past controversies, Umeofia likened the situation to the “Mmesoma and JAMB case,” urging critics to apologize as people did for the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Revealing the adverse impact on his business, Umeofia lamented, “I have a credit line of 15 million dollars from two customers, and now it is suspended.”
Regarding Egodi’s release from police custody, Umeofia claimed that she and her husband offered a written apology and a commitment to retract her statements. He produced a copy of the apology, which read, “I sincerely wish to apologize to Erisco Foods Limited. In the post, I made on Facebook about their product, Najiko Tomato Mix. I am sorry for the lies concerning your products. I reject my actions and wish to be forgiven. I pledge that this type of bad behavior will never happen again. I undertake to retract all my earlier posts on this matter immediately, this is without any compulsion. I will do anything within my power to ratify the things I did wrongly concerning the matter.”
However, when questioned about pursuing legal action against Egodi, Umeofia confirmed his intentions, asserting, “I will, surely. If she is accepted by the police it is a criminal case, what of my damages? Is it right?”
He insisted on suing her for a substantial sum of 5 billion naira, citing the severity of her online posts and the failure to share the apology on social media. “If you don’t post it there, we’re going for 5 billion,” he emphasized.
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