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Police committed to fairness in Erisco tomato case — Force PRO

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The Nigeria Police Force has reiterated its commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring impartiality in the ongoing Erisco Tomato case.

This was made known in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi shared on X on Thursday.

The statement by the Force Spokesperson, Adejobi, warned against spreading misinformation and attempting to influence public sentiment.

It also condemns the use of crowdfunding to manipulate legal proceedings and stresses the importance of enforcing existing legislation to combat violations and misinformation on social media.

The statement which was titled, “ERISCO TOMATOES MATTER: OUR CYBERCRIME ACT IS POTENT, EFFECTIVE”, said, “The Nigeria Police Force reaffirms its commitment to upholding the rule of law in the Erisco Tomato matter. The involvement of Mrs. Chioma warrants scrutiny as she stands accused of violating some salient parts of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 as preliminary investigations conducted have unearthed compelling evidence indicating Mrs. Chioma’s alleged role in the violation of extant laws, particularly those related to the proper use of the cyberspace.

“At this juncture, it is imperative to caution members of the public against spreading misinformation and attempting to manipulate public sentiment. The law operates impartially, and any attempt to subvert it will be met with the full force of legal action.

“The recent developments in the case are deeply worrisome, particularly the use of crowdfunding as a means to influence legal proceedings. Such actions undermine the integrity of the justice system and threaten the principles of fairness and accountability as they are highly inimical to the existence of the rule of law.

“This case in point underscores the necessity of enforcing existing legislation, including the Cybercrime Act, to counteract the current spate of violations of the Act and the spread of misinformation and disinformation on social media. It is vital to reaffirm that the Nigeria Police is poised to enforce all laws without fear, favour, or sentiments in its commitment to ensuring justice and transparency for all citizens.

“We therefore advise the suspect to cease the continual jumping bail and turn up in court, as a neutral arbiter, to determine the matter, and allow justice to take its course, while we admonish Nigerians, most especially social media influencers, to resort to embracing the rule of law, and shun all display of sentiments in the case, and in many others as the police will not be deterred by the antics of certain individuals to pervert justice in any way.”

Recall that in September last year, the Chief Executive Officer of Erisco Foods threatened to slam Okoli with a N5 billion lawsuit over her negative review of the company’s Tomato Paste.