Israel Balogun and Apostle Suleman
Samuel Amune, the Counsel to Apostle Johnson Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries, has explained why YouTuber Israel Balogun was detained by police.
He says the YouTuber called his client unprintable names and that, ‘that is what the Police is investigating and asking him to prove.’
The Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, had detained Balogun over allegations of criminal defamation and cyber stalking of the General Overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleman.
Suleman’s counsel, Amune, noted: “Our client is not bothered about the views as expressed by the said Mr. Israel Balogun on Miracle Money. What we are concerned about is the unprintable names he called our client and that is what the police is investigating and asking him to prove.”
This is contained in a Facebook post on the issue via the Facebook wall of the Omega Fire Ministries International on Thursday.
See the full text of the reaction, as posted on the church’s Facebook page:
A REJOINDER ON ABUJA POLICE DETAIN YOUTUBER FOR CRITICISING APOSTLE SULEMAN’S “MIRACLE MONEY”
Contrary to the views as expressed in the publication by PUNCH Newspapers today 12 August 2021, that Apostle Johnson Suleman of Omega Fire Ministries (hereinafter referred to as Our Client), is using the instrumentality of the Police to victimize and oppress one Mr. Israel Balogun over the comment made by him on various social media platforms in contradiction to the concept of “Miracle Money.”
We wish to let the public know the truth and state as follows:
1. That Mr. Israel Balogun in a video he did and posted on various social media platforms, wherein he expressed his view in reaction to Our Client’s Miracle Money prayer. In doing that he went beyond the ambit of the law in ventilating his view.
2. We do not have problem with him in expressing his view. It is his fundamental right to do so, but in doing that it must be done within the confine of the laws of the land
3. In the said video, he portrayed our client as a criminal, a magician, a bandit and a fraudster who connives with some of his secret disciples to defraud members of the public.
4. Our Client considered the content of the said video untrue, baseless, misleading and highly defamatory to his person. As a man of God, he instructed our law firm to write to the said Mr. Israel Balogun demanding that he recant the content of the video and apologise to our client. The content of the video attracted the police as our client complained to them for the criminal defamation of his character.
5. What constitutes an offence is not the truth value of that is being said but sometimes the mode and language use in conveying the intention. The various names he called our client in the video is what the police is investigating because in the legal parlance it is him who alleges on him lies the burden of proof.
6. Under the Nigerian law calling people unprintable names not true is cyber bullying/stalking and it is a major crime and the police have unfettered powers to investigate it.
7. Our client is not bothered about the views as expressed by the said Mr. Israel Balogun on Miracle Money. What we are concerned about is the unprintable names he called our client and that is what the police is investigating and asking him to prove. He should provide proof to the police that our client is a criminal, a magician, a bandit and a fraudster. He further accused our client that he secretly sends his pastors to gather people’s banking details before any crusade is held to enable them do electronic money transfer that this is what our client calls Miracle Money.
8. However it is important for us to state at this point that we are not here to join words with legal cloud chasers who are looking for opportunity for relevance. Little do they know that there is a world of difference between legality and activism. It is their reaction that brought the case to this level. This is because the said Mr. Israel Balogun was on his way to making a retraction before he was told to go ahead and fight.
9. He was not reported to the police because he expressed view against Miracle Money. He was reported because of the name calling and we will not stop at this. We will go after anyone who goes to the internet to insult men of God and ensure they face the full wrath of the law; in any country they may be.
Signed. Samuel Amune, Esq.
(Omega Chambers, Igarra)
Counsel to Apostle Johnson Suleman 12/08/2021