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Eriscofood to sue ’customer’ for N5 billion over defamation post

Eriscofoods is gearing up to take legal action against Chioma Egodi, over “defamatory content” about the company.

They plan to sue her for a substantial sum of N5 billion.

Eric Umeofia, Eriscofoods’ founder and President, revealed this during an interview with Arise News on Thursday.

Their decision to pursue this lawsuit is rooted in Chioma’s failure to issue a public apology on social media, thereby harming the company’s reputation, an agreement he claims was reached by both parties.

Umeofia emphasized the significant challenges Eriscofoods faced due to these “baseless accusations” and underscored the importance of receiving a public apology.

He stated,

  • “We will be suing her for N5 billion. I have a credit line of $15 million from two customers that is now suspended by a Chinese company. They claim that I may not be able to repay the credit they extended to me. So, I am suing her for not posting the apology letter. If she refuses to comply, we will meet in court.”

Umeofia expressed his frustration, asserting that Chioma had never been a customer of Eriscofoods and challenging her unsubstantiated claims.

He recounted how he sought the help of the Inspector General of Police to locate Chioma, leading to a meeting with her and her family.

She eventually admitted to wrongdoing and offered a written apology, although Umeofia did not have a copy at the time.

In a heated address, Umeofia highlighted the challenges his company faced, including stiff competition and unwarranted criticism.

He criticized the situation where smaller entities could oppress larger ones without repercussions, lamenting the lack of support for larger companies.

Ersicofood’s side of the story

Umeofia recounted how the controversy began and how the company conducted an internal investigation. They could not locate Chioma or find any complaints from their branches across Nigeria.

He questioned the legitimacy of her accusations and her failure to provide specific product details in her post, which he believed was a proper product review protocol.

He continued,

  • “When we couldn’t locate her, I wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police. The police questioned her about her complaints and how she concluded that our product was causing harm. She responded that she had bought it and tested it. Is her mouth a laboratory? If you want to review a product, be transparent.”

Umeofia expressed his commitment to consumer rights and his efforts to protect his customers. He wrote to the Inspector General of Police, accusing Chioma of criminal conspiracy, blackmail, and harming their product’s reputation.

Umeofia also disclosed the financial impact this controversy had on the company, hinting at the possibility of leaving Nigeria, where they were experiencing financial losses despite their commitment to local production.

What you should know

Speaking about his discussion with the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Umeofia expressed his surprise at their contradictory statements.

He claimed that he was asked to provide terms for a settlement, but Babatunde Irukera of the FCCPC claimed that their office facilitated Chioma’s release.

Yet Umeofia clarified that, according to their information, the FCCPC’s representatives were not present before Chioma arrived in Abuja. Instead, it was Dozie Jnr, Chioma’s uncle who approached Eriscofoods, pleaded for her release, and signed the necessary documents.

Regarding the product Chioma purchased, Umeofia stated it was Eriscofoods’ “tomato mix,” which does contain sugar.

This is a distinct product from their tomato paste, and the inclusion of sugar was in response to customer demand.

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