The founder and President of Erisco Foods Limited, Eris Umeofia, has said that he had the right to call for the arrest of Chioma Egodi, a reviewer of one of their products, Najiko Tomato Mix, as he said that she was out for the downfall of his business.
Umeofia also said that he will be pursuing legal action and suing Egodi for N5 billion in damages.
Erisco Foods Limited has been under fire recently after they orchestrated the arrest of Chioma Egodi who posted a review of the Erisco product- Najiko Tomato Mix- on her Facebook page, claiming that the product contained too much sugar, and as such is not safe for consumption.
However, in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Thursday, the President of the company said that he had the right to call for her arrest, saying, “We will not allow our efforts of 40 years over to be destroyed by somebody that is the syndicate of importers that have been fighting our products since the beginning.” He explained that as she kept saying online that the Erisco products are killing people and he did not have any way to get her to speak with him, he requested the Inspector General of police to help him secure her.
Umeofia said that he petitioned the IGP for her arrest in a letter which was titled Complaint Of Criminal Conspiracy, Demarketing and Blackmailing Of Our Product and Cyberbullying Against An Organized Syndicate Faking Our Products After Failing To Extort Money From Us (paraphrased).
Speaking to those criticizing him over the arrest of his ‘customer’, Umeofia continuously emphasized that Egodi was not a customer of Erisco products, claiming that she said that she bought the product once to test it. He said, “The consumer has rights. None of you will love your customers more than me. I love my customers, if no customer, I would not be what I am today, so none of you will come and advise me on how to handle my customers, I know they’re my strength. So, when customers come to destroy you, what is Nigeria thinking?”
Umeofia then said, “This is another Mmesoma and JAMB case, simple. People are castigating JAMB, now, nobody got the guts to say, JAMB, sorry for what I said. People must come back and tell me sorry.
Umeofia mentioned that due to this issue, he has lost major deals in his business, saying, “I have credit line of 15 million dollars from two customers, and now it is suspended.”
The Erisco president then revealed that before her release from police custody, Egodi and her husband offered to tender an apology, saying that she will withdraw all the statements that she made. He claimed that the police then gave a condition that she be given 7 days to withdraw all the posts and tender an apology letter. He claimed that the apology letter had been written and signed by Edoka, and he had a copy of it.
He then read out his copy of Edoka’s written apology, which said “I sincerely wish to apologize to Erisco foods limited. In the post I made on Facebook about their product, Nagiko Tomato mix. I am sorry for the lies concerning your products. I reject my actions and wish to be forgiven. I pledge that this type of bad behaviour will never happen again. I undertake to retract all my earlier posts on this matter immediately, this is without any compulsion. I will do anything within my power to ratify the things I did wrongly concerning the matter.”
However, when he was asked if he was taking legal action against Egodi, he said, “I will, surely. If she accepted in the police it is a criminal case, what of my damages? Is it right?” He went on to say that he will be suing her for damages in the amount of 5 billion naira, saying, “People should go and read what she posted to show you that she is determined to kill us. So why should I leave her?”
Umeofia said that the letter of apology was not enough because she had not posted it on social media as they agreed. “If you don’t post it there, we’re going for 5 billion,” he said.