The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has announced that it will summon Erisco Foods Limited in connection with Chioma Egodi Jnr’s arrest and detention. Barrister Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of FCCPC, said this on his Twitter handle following the arrest of Egodi,
who reviewed Erisco’s goods. @fccpcnigeria operatives have confirmed the arrest & transfer of the case to Abuja by the Police Force.
She was no longer at the station on arrival,” Irukera posted. “Working to determine exact current location & engaging Force HQ in Abuja.
Summons being issued to @EriscoFoodsLtd immediately.” The lady in question, Egodi Jnr, made a post on Facebook on September 17, 2023, where she said she tasted too much sugar in the tin tomato she bought, a product of Erisco Foods.
“I went to buy tin tomatoes yesterday (September 16) that I will use to make stew; I didn’t see Gino and Sonia, so I decided to buy this one,” she wrote. “When I opened it, I decided to taste it omo! Sugar is just too much! Haaa biko let me know if you have used this Tin tomato before because this is an ike gwuru situation!”
The management of Erisco Foods Limited thereafter issued an official statement about the post-Egodi made on Facebook about their product and also said they would take all necessary actions against any malicious attack on their reputation.
“The attention of Erisco Foods Limited has been drawn to a Facebook post by one Chioma Egodi Jnr on September 17, 2023, alleging that Nagtko Tomato Mix, one of the three tomato paste variants of Erisco Foods Limited, contains an unhealthy amount of sugar and therefore not fit for human consumption,” Erisco wrote. UPDATE: @fccpcnigeria operatives have confirmed the arrest & transfer of the case to Abuja by the Police Force. She was no longer at the station on arrival. Working to determine the exact current location & engaging Force HQ in Abuja. Summons are being issued to @EriscoFoodsLtd
Can you be prosecuted for a negative review: free speech or not quite?
Online reviews are everywhere these days. This digital form of word-of-mouth advertising gives consumers a voice and right while at the same time offering businesses a way to exude reliability.
Considering reviews can often make or break your business, they are of great importance. In principle, anyone can write reviews about a product or service.
The right to free speech is enormously broad and cannot be restricted. Websites like Google or Trustpilot may allow users to write negative reviews about companies, their products, or services.
In principle, the posting of reviews by these users themselves also falls under the right to free speech but, as will be shown below, some nuances need to be made.
When are you protected as a reviewer?
You should not tiptoe around your opinion when giving a review. However, there are some exceptions that you as a reviewer should watch out for or that you as a company can take action against. First, you should refrain from telling lies. This is due to the fact that false statements are not protected by the right to free speech.
What can you do as a company against a false or excessively negative response?
First off, it is always a good idea to respond to false or negative reviews in a serene, understanding, and friendly manner. That way, you make it clear to customers that you take complaints seriously and perhaps the person in question will take the review offline themselves.
Erisco company acted wrongly by arresting Egodi Jnr, who made a post on Facebook on September 17, 2023, where she said she tasted too much sugar in the tin tomato she bought, a product of Erisco Foods.
We expected Erisco to invite Ms. Egodi, for a factory tour, and testing, which would have been covered and broadcast, probably with Facebook live but they arrested her, and now they have many things to deal with, the same negative image they were avoiding on their own have brought it unto the company.