Chioma Okoli was arrested in Nigeria last year for inciting people against Erisco Foods by sharing false information about its brand © Getty Images / carlosgaw

A Nigerian federal court remanded a 39-year-old female entrepreneur on Tuesday on charges of violating the West African nation’s cybercrime laws by circulating false claims about a canned tomato sauce in an online review.

Chioma Okoli posted a photo of an opened can of Nagiko Tomato Mix, produced by local company Erisco Foods Limited, on Facebook on September 17 last year, claiming that she found it to be overly sweet.

The Nigerian small-scale importer of children’s clothing told CNN in March that she had asked her 18,000 Facebook followers to share their thoughts on the product.

The post elicited a variety of reactions, with one account named Blessing Okeke telling Okoli: “Stop spoiling my brother’s product; if you don’t like it, use another one, then bring it to social media or call customer service.”

In response, Okoli asked the user to assist her in advising her brother to stop endangering consumers’ health with products made with “pure sugar.”

She was arrested on September 24.

In a statement earlier this year, Erisco Foods Limited said Okoli had refused to respond to a request from the State Consumer Protection Agency in Lagos to reveal the batch number and production date of the product in her review.

Erisco filed a civil lawsuit against Okoli, accusing her of conspiracy and cyberstalking and making a “malicious allegation” that damaged its business. The Lagos-based manufacturer claimed it had “suffered the loss of multiple credit lines” and was seeking 5 billion naira (more than $3 million) in damages from Okoli.

In a statement in March, the Nigeria Police Force claimed that “preliminary investigations conducted have unearthed compelling evidence” indicating Okoli’s alleged role in breaching cyberspace laws.

Prosecutors have alleged that she used her Facebook account “with the intention of instigating people against Erisco Foods knowing the said information to be false” under Nigeria’s Cyber Crime Prohibition Act.

Okoli pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against her at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, insisting that the review reflected her genuine experience with the product, according to local daily The Whistler.

She was, however, reportedly remanded in the Suleja Correctional Centre near Abuja pending a decision on her bail application on Friday.

Okoli faces up to three years in jail or a fine of 7 million naira (around $5,000) if found guilty of cybercrime charges.

Her lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, told the court that his client had a miscarriage due to the case. (RT)