Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist Inibehe Effiong responded to the arrest of a young woman named Chioma Egodi Jnr, who posted a review of an Erisco Food product on Facebook. The incident unfolded after Chioma Egodi purchased Erisco tomato products and shared her feedback on Facebook, likening the product to an ‘Ike Gwuru’ situation.
She said, “I went to buy Tin tomatoes yesterday that I will use to make stew, I didn’t see Gino and Sonia, so I decided to buy this (referring to Erisco tomato) when I opened it, I decided to taste it omo! Sugar is just too much! Haa Biko let me know if you have used thin Tin tomato before because this is an ike gwuru situation!
Erisco Food Management was displeased with this review, leading to the arrest of the young lady on grounds of tarnishing the company’s reputation. Nonetheless, a significant number of Nigerians find it puzzling why the company resorted to such measures. A Nigerian lawyer took to Twitter to criticize both the company and the Nigerian police command.
In his statement, he said, “The management of @EriscoFoodsLtd acted viciously and irresponsibly by instigating the police to arrest and detain a customer for her negative review of their product. A customer expressed her view on your tomatoes product, you decided to deploy the police to arrest her in Lagos and had her transferred to Force Headquarters in Abuja”.
He went on to elaborate that certain occurrences in the country are far from normal and can be characterized by attributes akin to insanity. He said, “There are certain things that happen in this country that can only be attributed to insanity. If you disagree with her review, a simple public statement would have sufficed”.
Nigerian lawyer Effiong suggested that the company should engage with the young lady to comprehend her perspective on the product instead of resorting to her arrest.
“They could have reached out to her to understand her view and explain their position. That would have earned the company and the brand more patronage” he added.
He steadfastly maintained his stance that the company would eventually face the consequences of prioritizing arrogance and intimidation over a more reasonable approach to addressing straightforward issues.
He said, “What a silly way to resolve a simple matter. Arrogance is the issue here. I hope that they learn a hard lesson from this case. The police has refused to reform itself”.
Furthermore, Effiong also commented that many individuals are weaponizing the police as a means of intimidating others during civil disputes.
“The way any charlatan in this country can easily weaponize the police is upsetting. They keep criminalizing civil disputes. We cannot continue like this” Effiong Inibehe added.