The Founder and President of Erisco Foods Ltd, Eric Umeofia, has declared his intention to initiate legal proceedings against Chioma Egodi, a customer who posted a negative review of the company’s Nagito Tomato Mix product on Facebook.
Umeofia, said this during an interview on Arise News Channel. He highlighted the substantial damage the development had done to his company, saying it resulted in the loss of a $30 million credit line from foreign partners.
Egodi had posted an unfavourable review of Erisco’s product on social media, which subsequently led to her arrest by the police and her subsequent transfer to Abuja.
But speaking on ARISE News Channel, Umeofia underscored that the arrest was undertaken after multiple attempts to contact Egodi, emphasising that he followed legal procedures and channels by submitting a petition to the police to investigate her claims.
He also disclosed that his company had been a victim of oppression by a group of importers who were actively tarnishing the Erisco brand to sabotage the business.
He said: “I am taking legal action against her because I have a sense of responsibility. Is it justifiable for her to unjustly criticise my product, with people rallying behind her?
“We employ over 3000 individuals in my factory, indirectly impacting 20,000 people. I cannot permit this kind of ‘conspiracy’ to jeopardise my business.
“I am pursuing legal actions. I’ll be suing for N5 billion. I have a credit line of $15 million from two customers in China. So, we are going for N5 billion because she has caused a lot of damage. $30 million is a lot because for the past 5 years, I have gotten credit in Nigeria and for three years no foreign exchange from banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The allegations were grave, my credit line from my business partner has been suspended because of these allegations.”
He continued, “I’ve been manufacturing this product for over a decade, and I won’t allow someone to tarnish it overnight. Should I let her off the hook simply because she’s in a weaker position? She is not the first person to provide a product review.
“When we couldn’t reach her, we submitted a formal complaint to the Inspector General of Police to request assistance. I have every right to file a complaint when I feel uneasy,” Umeofia added.
He added: “We issued a statement saying we would not allow our 40 years of labour to be destroyed by a syndicate of importers that have been fighting our product from the beginning.”
He pointed out that the lady’s posts falsely claimed that his product was causing harm and even went so far as to suggest that she would negatively affect their product, damaging his brand’s reputation.