Chioma vs Erisco CEO: Group seeks Women Affairs Minister's intervention

Erisco controversy: Court admits Chioma Okoli to N50m bail

30
Reach the right people at the right time with Nationnewslead. Try and advertise any kind of your business to users online today. Kindly contact us for your advert or publication @ Nationnewslead@gmail.com Call or Whatsapp: 08168544205, 07055577376, 09122592273

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Friday, admitted Mrs Chioma Okoli to N5 million bail with two sureties in like sum over allegations bordering on her online commentary on Erisco Foods Limited’s tomato paste.

Justice Peter Lifu, in a ruling, agreed with the arguments of the defendant’s lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, that the offence with which Mrs Okoli was charged was a bailable one.

Justice Lifu further held that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty according to Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

According to the judge, denying her bail is a wrong application of discretion which will amount to a pre-trial judgment and judicial rascality.

He equally based the ruling on the health status of Okoli.

Also read: AEDC management announces disconnection of electricity service to all debtors

Justice Lifu, in admitting her to bail, said that one of the sureties must be the defendant’s spouse or blood relative with a variable source of income and also residing within the jurisdiction of the court.

The judge, who ordered the sureties to deposit a passport photograph each, directed the defendant to also deposit her international passport if any.

He adjourned the matter until June 13 for further hearing.

Also read: Brainjotter raises over N20m for disabled fan at Abuja comedy show

Mrs Okoli is being charged over her online commentary on Erisco Foods Limited’s tomato paste which the police alleged violated the Cybercrime Act, of 2015.

She was arraigned on Tuesday before Justice Lifu by the Inspector-General (I-G) of the Police on a two-count charge bordering on cybercrime.

Although she pleaded not guilty to all the counts, the judge ordered her remand till today to deliver a ruling on her bail application.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Abdulrashid Sidi, urged the court to reject the bail application that the defence counsel, Effiong, moved.

Sidi had objected to the bail application on the ground that given the history and antecedent of the defendant, there was a likelihood that she would jump bail.

The prosecution informed the court that the defendant had, while on administrative bail, refused to honour the bail terms and would most likely jump bail.

The police had alleged that initial investigations revealed significant evidence suggesting Mrs Okoli’s involvement in breaking existing laws, especially concerning the appropriate use of cyberspace.

On Sept. 17, 2023, Okoli shared a Facebook post stating that she purchased Nagiko Tomato Mix from Erisco Foods, the day before and found it utterly sugary.

She mentioned that she normally buys Gino or Sonia brands, but they were out of stock.

Her post generated reactions and forced the company’s management to involve the police through a petition to the IG.

The controversy also prompted scrutiny of the product’s registration, prompting the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to inspect the Erisco Foods’ Nagiko Tomato Mix’s registration in 2021.

(NAN)

Also read: Police bust criminal hideout, recover arms in Delta


Reach the right people at the right time with Nationnewslead. Try and advertise any kind of your business to users online today. Kindly contact us for your advert or publication @ Nationnewslead@gmail.com Call or Whatsapp: 08168544205, 07055577376, 09122592273



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *