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Erisco controversy: Trial of food reviewer stalled



The trial of Mrs Chioma Okoli, charged with allegations bordering on her online commentary on Erisco Foods Limited’s tomato paste, was, on Thursday, stalled at a Federal High Court, Abuja.

The matter, fixed for trial, could not proceed because the trial judge, Justice Peter Lifu, went on an official assignment.

Although Justice Lifu sat today, he however rose after taken some cases to attend a conference.

The trial was subsequently fixed for June 19 on counsel agreement.

NEWSVERGE reports that Okoli was, on May 31, admitted to N5 million bail with two sureties after spending few days in a correctional centre following her arraignment on two counts on May 28.

NEWSVERGE reports that Mrs Okoli is being charged over her online commentary on Erisco Foods Limited’s tomato paste which the police alleged violated the Cybercrime Act, 2015.

She pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

The police had alleged that initial investigations revealed significant evidence suggesting Okoli’s involvement in breaking existing laws, especially concerning the appropriate use of cyberspace.

On Sept. 17, 2023, Okoli shared a Facebook post stating that she purchased Nagiko Tomato Mix from Erisco Foods, the day before and found it utterly sugary.

She mentioned that she normally buys Gino or Sonia brands, but they were out of stock.

Her post generated reactions and forced the management of the company to involve the police through a petition to the I-G.

The controversy also prompted scrutiny of the product’s registration, prompting the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to carry out an inspection on the Erisco Foods’ Nagiko Tomato Mix’s registration in 2021

Taiye Agbaje

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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