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After Miscarriage, Court Remands Chioma Okoli Over Erisco Foods Tomato Purée Review

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Chioma Okoli to be remanded at the Suleja Correctional Centre over Facebook comments she made about a product from Erisco Foods Limited.

Okoli, who reviewed the company’s tomato purée , was arraigned on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, before Justice Peter Lifu in Abuja.

Okoli pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy and cyberstalking.

The counts read,

“That you Chioma Edoka Okoli also known as Chioma Egodi Jnr, Happiness Obas now at large And Don Kashking now at large ‘m’ of on or about sometime in the month of September 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired among yourself and intentionally sent a message by means of computer and social media network such as Facebook, by using your Facebook handle by name Chioma Egodi Jnr, with the intention of instigating people against Erisco Foods Limited, knowing the said information to be false and with intent to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will, or needless anxiety to Erisco Foods Limited, the management, and members of the family, thereby committed an offense contrary and punishable under Section 27 (1) (B) Cyber Crime Prohibition Act.”

She will remain in custody until Friday, May 31, 2024, when the court will rule on her bail application.

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Human rights lawyer Inibehe Effiong, who is representing Okoli, noted that she suffered a miscarriage due to the psychological stress from the case.

The case stemmed from a 2023 incident in which Erisco Foods CEO Eric Omeofia claimed that Okoli’s negative review of their product, Nagiko Tomato Mix, harmed his business.

Okoli was subsequently arrested in September 2023, leading her lawyer to accuse the police and Omeofia of violating her rights.

The prosecution, led by Abdulrashid Isyaku-Sidi, opposed bail, arguing that Okoli had previously failed to comply with bail conditions.

Justice Lifu postponed the ruling on the bail application to Friday and set the main hearing for June 13, 2024.

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