- The arrest and detention of a Facebook user who reviewed an Erisco Foods product has continued to stir reactions in the polity
- A Nigerian lawyer has expressed shock over the development and cited errors made by the police and the company
- Meanwhile, Nagiko Tomato Mix has come under strong scrutiny as the Consumer Protection Agency confirmed the arrest of Chioma and the transfer of the case to Abuja
A Nigerian lawyer, Abdul Mahmud, has reacted to the arrest and detention of Chioma Egodi Jnr, a Facebook user who reviewed a tomato paste from Erisco Foods product.
Legit.ng reported earlier that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) announced the arrest of Chioma.
In a Facebook post on September 17, 2023, the lady alleged that she tasted Nagiko Tomato Mix, one of the products of Erisco Foods Limited, and found it very sugary.
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Why Facebook user should not be arrested over her review
The lawyer listed the three important issues below:
1. It is within Chioma's right to have tweeted what has become an aspect of the emerging social proof of product reviews. After all, as an aspect of this social proof, product manufacturers also push product testimonials into the public space. Nobody arrests them in cases where the social proofs are lies;
2. It is wrong, utterly wrong, of the police to graft itself into what is in all material particular NOT a crime. The practice of the police jumping into matters that are chiefly civil and commercial is wrong. In this particular matter, the police ought to have referred the complaint to products and consumer regulatory authorities to deal with it.
"Maybe she's violent": Police speak on Facebook user arrested over bad review of Erisco tomato paste
3. This anti-social media culture that the police are promoting is dangerous to the flourish of free speech in a democracy. Today, any post on social media is immediately considered by our police apparatchiks as unhealthy to the nation-state. 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. But, its personnel tell us they have no stake on such matters, when clearly they interview citizens who complained against under CAUTION- which technically means that they elicit statements from citizens who are under arrest for civil matters.
"Chioma hasn't committed any offence known to a written law and the police should release her FORTHWITH," he concluded.
However, his post has got many taking online.
Why Facebook user who reviewed Erisco was arrested
Giving an update on the development, Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Force Headquarters, Abuja, disclosed that the Facebook user may have been arrested for being violent.
He made this known via a post on his X page (formerly known as Twitter) on Sunday, September 24.