Nigeria: Woman’s Right Violated over Tomato Paste Criticism

The song Fight the Power by Public Enemy comes to mind following the arrest of a Nigerian woman for claiming on social media that a tomato paste she bought in a market tasted sugary.

Development Diaries reports that the woman, Chioma Okoli, made the comment in a post on her Facebook page, with the name ‘ Chioma Egodi Jnr’, on 17 September.

In response, the manufacturers of the tomato paste, Erisco Foods Limited, facilitated the arrest of the woman, with claims of an attack on their brand reputation.

Meanwhile, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has twisted that it had summoned Erisco Foods Limited over Okoli’s arrest.

Why arrest a customer over a review of a product?

By virtue of Section 39 of the 1999 constitution, no Nigerian should ever be arrested simply for exercising their freedom of expression.

In fact, the arrest of Okoli indicates that impunity for unlawful arrests in Nigeria remains rampant.

Development Diaries calls on the police to immediately release Okoli. We also call on the FCCPC to ensure that proper investigations are carried out to ensure that consumers are safe.

Photo source: Chioma Egodi Jnr


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