Nigerian social media erupts in criticism as Erisco Foods Limited faces backlash and calls for a boycott after arresting a customer for her negative product review.
In a shocking incident that unfolded on social media, Chioma Egodi, a dissatisfied customer of Erisco Foods Limited, was arrested by the company, sparking outrage among Nigerians.
Egodi had expressed her disappointment regarding the sugar content in Erisco’s tomato paste product, posting her critique on Facebook. However, instead of addressing her concerns, the company resorted to involving the police, leading to her arrest.
In response to Egodi’s claim, Erisco Foods defended itself, labeling her review as untrue and intended to mislead consumers and damage the company’s reputation. They even escalated the matter to the authorities.
As the news of Egodi’s arrest spread like wildfire on social media, the company and its founder, Eric Umeofia, faced a torrent of criticism on the platform formerly known as Twitter, now referred to as X.
Prominent lawyer and social commentator @AbdulMahmud01 weighed in on the issue, emphasizing Chioma’s right to voice her opinion.
He condemned the police’s involvement in a matter that he deemed civil and commercial, asserting that such disputes should be handled by-products and consumer regulatory authorities.
In a scathing critique, AbdulMahmud accused the police of promoting an anti-social media culture detrimental to free speech, stating, “A simple complaint that should be dealt with through the civil remedy of defamation is done away with, and the police graft itself as an instrument to protect people of power.”
Another lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, expressed astonishment at Erisco’s decision to involve the police in response to a negative review. He called it a “silly way to resolve a simple matter” and highlighted the need for the police to refrain from meddling in civil disputes.
Meanwhile, the Federal Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) entered the fray, confirming Egodi’s arrest and summoning Erisco officials. FCCPC head Babatunde Irukera pledged to investigate the matter further, sending a summons to Erisco Foods Limited.
The incident has sparked a nationwide debate on the boundaries of free speech and the use of legal authorities to address commercial disputes, putting Erisco Foods Limited under intense scrutiny and public pressure.