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Court grants Ericso tomato reviewer Chioma Okoli N5m bail

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Court grants Ericson tomato reviewer Chioma Okoli N5m bail

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, granted Chioma Okoli, Erisco tomato reviewer, bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties.

Okoli was arraigned on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 before Hon. Justice Peter Lifu, and was remanded at Suleja Correctional Center.

She pleaded not guilty to the two counts of conspiracy and cyberstalking levelled against her.

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In his ruling on the bail application filed by her lawyer Inibehe Effiong on Friday, the judge granted her bail with two sureties in like sum.

Justice Lifu held that one of the sureties must be her spouse or blood relations and must be resident in Abuja with verified means of livelihood.

The court held that the ruling was predicated on Section 365 (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended on the presumption of innocence. The court held that denying her bail would be a wrong application of discretion and tantamount to pre-trial judgment and judicial rascality.

The case has been adjourned to June 13, 2024 for trial.

The CEO of Erisco Foods Limited, Eric Omeofia, alleged in 2023 that a negative product review made by Chioma Okoli adversely impacted his business after she said that the Nagiko Tomato Mix she bought had too much sugar.

Okoli was arrested by the police in September 2023 with her lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, raising the alarm that the fundamental rights of his client were being breached by the police and Omeofia.

The two counts read, “That you Chioma Edoka Okoli also known as Chioma Egodi Jnr, Happiness Obas now at large And Don Kashking now at large ‘m’ of on or about sometime in the month of September 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired among yourself and intentionally sent a message by means of computer and social media network such as Facebook, by using your Facebook handle by name Chioma Egodi Jnr, with the intention of instigating people against Erisco Foods Limited, knowing the said information to be false and with intent to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will, or needless anxiety to Erisco Foods Limited, the management, and members of the family, thereby committed an offense contrary and punishable under Section 27 (1) (B) Cyber Crime Prohibition Act.

“That you Chioma Edoka Okoli also known as Chioma Egodi Jnr, Happiness Obas now at large and Don Kashking now at large ‘m’ of on or about sometime in the month of September, 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court intentionally send a message by means of computer and social media network such as Facebook, by using your Facebook handle by name Chioma Egodi Jnr, with the intention of instigating Erisco Foods Limited, knowing the said information to be false and with intent to cause annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to Erisco Foods Limited, the management, and members of the family, and thereby committed an offense contrary and punishable under Section 24 (1) (B) Cyber Crime Prohibition Act.”

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