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Police place Chioma Okoli on watchlist over tomato paste review

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Kayode Egbetokun, the Nigerian Inspector General of Police, has written to the Controller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, requesting that Mrs. Okoli Chioma Egodi be placed on the watchlist. 

The Nigeria Police Force and Erisco Foods Limited are prosecuting Chioma Okoli for posting a review of one of the company’s products on Facebook.

Okoli is being prosecuted over her negative review of Nagiko Tomato Paste, a product from Erisco Foods Limited.

Amid outcry from well-meaning Nigerians, civil society organizations, including the global human rights body, Amnesty International, demanding an immediate end to the harassment and intimidation of Mrs. Okoli, the police boss, in a letter to the Immigration Controller General, Kemi Nandap, requested that she be placed on watchlist and denied exit out of the country.

The letter sighted by SaharaReporters bears the reference number OB:3380/IGP.SEC/MU/T.6/ABJ/VOL.3/11.

The letter, dated April 2, 2024, is headlined “Watch Listing of Mrs. Okoli Chioma Egodi; age 37 years old.” In a letter acquired exclusively from a high-ranking source in the IGP Monitoring Unit in Abuja and signed by A.A. Elleman, DCP, Head, IGP Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters of the Nigeria Police Force, the police chief requested the NIS arrest her if sighted and notify the IGP Monitoring Unit.

It mentioned that Okoli is being investigated for a case of “criminal conspiracy, de-marketing, blackmail, attempted extortion, and cyberbullying.”.

The latter partly reads, “This office is investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, de-marketing, blackmail, attempted extortion, and cyberbullying reported to the Inspector-General of Police against the above-mentioned person whose photographs are attached herewith, and the need to request your agency’s cooperation has become imperative.

“Given this, you are kindly requested to watch the list and deny her exit out of the country, and if seen, arrest and inform the IGP Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters, Abuja, through phone numbers 07036799008 or 07034779065 or the nearest police station.

“While anticipating your usual cooperation, kindly accept the assurances and esteemed regards of the Inspector-General of Police, please.”

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