In a shocking turn of events, a simple Facebook post about a sweet-tasting tomato puree has landed a Nigerian woman, in a desperate fight for her freedom.

This Nigerian Woman Faces Jail Term For Reviewing Tomato Puree


Her crime? Daring to share her honest opinion about a product made by a powerful company, Erisco Foods Limited.

But Egodi’s case is just the tip of the iceberg, exposing a threatening trend in Nigeria where citizens are being silenced, intimidated, and prosecuted for exercising their fundamental right to free speech.

As the battle lines are drawn, one question looms large: how far will the authorities go to stifle opposing voices, and at what cost to democracy?

Genesis Of Tomato Puree Saga

On September 16, 2023, Chioma Egodi, a small business owner, shared her opinion on a tomato puree product on her Facebook page, sparking a heated debate.


The post received several opinions, until when a Facebook user commented: “Stop spoiling my brother product, if you don’t like it, use another one than bring it to social media…”

Egodi responded, saying: “Help me advise your brother to stop ki**ing people with his product…” Two days later, the post had gathered more than 2,500 comments, to her surprise.

Her post caught the attention of the product’s manufacturer, Erisco Food Limited, and its CEO, Eric Umeofia.


Chioma Egodi’s Arrest

Two days later, Chioma Egodi was arrested by Nigeria police officers and taken to the Ogudu police station.

There, she was detained and charged with “extortion, blackmail, and running a syndicate.”


“They took me into one room, I sat down and they brought more than 20 pages and told me those are my charges.

“I had forgotten about the post, then I remembered.

“They were charging me with extortion, blackmailing and that I run a syndicate.” the 39 years old mother of three stated amidst tears.

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Egodi’s arrest is one of several cases in Nigeria where citizens have been detained and charged under the country’s cybercrime laws for expressing their opinions online.

The Fight Against Freedom Of Speech

The Human Rights groups argue that these laws are often used to “silence journalists, activists, and ordinary citizens who speak out against powerful individuals and authorities.”

Despite recent amendments to the cybercrime act, intended to align it with human rights standards, critics say the law remains “vague and open to manipulation.”

Egodi’s case highlights the ongoing struggle for “freedom of speech” in Nigeria, where authorities continue to use the law to “silence opposing voices.”

Tomato Puree CEO Lawsuit Against Chioma

Chioma Egodi ordeal included being flown to Abuja for interrogation, where she was coerced into signing a statement and apologizing to Erisco Foods Limited.

The company has also filed a civil lawsuit against her, seeking damages of over $3 million.

While Egodi’s lawyer has counter-filed a lawsuit against Erisco and the police, seeking damages of over $374,000.

This case has sparked outrage and concern among Nigerians.

Many see it as another example of authorities silencing citizens who exercise their right to free speech.

Egodi’s experience has left her traumatized, and her small business has suffered as a result of her arrest and detention.

The incident highlights the need for greater protections for “freedom of speech” in Nigeria and an end to the misuse of cybercrime laws to silence voices.

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