MIRACLE MONEY: A Person without Character Cannot be Defamed: A Reply to Apostle Suleman

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Our attention has been drawn to a misleading and provocative press statement issued by Samuel Amune, Esq., one of the counsel to Apostle Johnson Suleman, which has been circulated online and also published on all social media accounts of his client (Apostle Suleman) in response to the widely condemned arrest and detention of my client, Israel Goodnews Balogun.

We would have simply ignored the said statement while still waiting for Apostle Suleman and his miracle money angels to testify in a court of law to validate the very ludicrous and mendacious claims that angels deposited money into the bank accounts of worshippers at Omega Fire Ministries programmes in Auchi, Edo State and Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

But we are impelled to respond for the sake of innocent members of the public who may be misled by it.

In their desperate attempt to justify the oppressive, illegal and arbitrary arrest and detention of my client by the Special Enquiry Bureau of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID), Abuja, the counsel to Suleman claimed that his client instigated the police against my client because my client “went beyond the ambit of the law in ventilating his views.”

In the said statement, my client was accused of calling Apostle Suleman “unprintable names”; certain words and expressions described by the counsel to Apostle Suleman as defamatory were attributed to my client. The said statement is in pari materia with the petition filed with the police.

My client in his written statement to the police at FCIID had refuted and discountenanced most of the claims and allegations in the petition which have been repeated in the statement now in circulation. For the avoidance of doubt, majority of the said words and expressions were not used by my client.

However, my client unapologetically stands by each and every word and expression used by him in his video. The police admitted that most of the words that the Apostle attributed to my client in his petition were used by another person, who like my client, also spoke out against the so-called angelic miracle alerts and miracle money.

We view the press statement as an attempt to divert public attention from the substance of the matter: which is whether the Apostle acted truthfully or deceitfully, fraudulently or honestly by claiming to command angels to deposit miracle alerts and miracle money in the accounts of worshippers? The answer to this simple question will determine the merit of this case.

Given that Apostle Suleman is not a lawyer, I urge my learned colleagues who are representing him in this matter to kindly advise their client on the legal implications of initiating an action founded on alleged defamation in a court of law.

The Apostle deserves to know that in the law of defamation, it is trite that a person without character cannot be defamed. A person who claims that his character has been defamed is basically putting his character on trial.

If the Apostle is convinced that he has character, and that his character has been defamed by my client, in the light of his miracle money claims and his other documented, ludicrous and discredited false claims (like his claim that his “spiritual son” entered a toilet in the airport in Germany and supernaturally appeared in an airport toilet in France), he should proceed to court and not dissipate further energy on press statements.

It is an age-long aphorism that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

In the statement, it is also claimed rather unfortunately, that my client was going to retract his statements against the false claims of angelic miracle alerts and money before he was dissuaded from doing so and “told to go ahead and fight” by “legal clout chasers who are looking for opportunity for relevance.”

I urge my learned friend to focus on the substance of this case and not indulge in diversionary arguments.

For the records, it is actually Apostle Suleman who has been seeking for ways to have a soft landing in this matter by pleading for underserved apology from my client.

Nigerians should ask the Apostle why one of his lawyers in Abuja went to the police cell where my client was detained in the dead of the night and in my absence on Wednesday, 11th August, 2021 after efforts to negotiate with me had failed?

Why did the lawyer to Suleman attempt to discuss with my client in that ungodly hour of the day without my knowledge? Upon calling and beckoning on my client to come out, my client shouted at the said lawyer to leave.

Since Apostle Johnson Suleman has the unparalleled grace and power of commanding angels to transfer miracle money from the Central Bank of Heaven to the accounts of human beings in commercial banks, I hereby restate my call for him help Nigeria out of her financial woes by commanding his cash dispensing angels to credit the Federation Account.

Suleman may have succeeded in the past in intimidating, seducing and cajoling other persons he used the police to harass into apologizing to him. Sadly for him this time, he is dealing with people who know their rights and are determined to enforce them no matter whose ox is gored

In my professional life as a lawyer, I have never fought oppression and oppressors on my knees. Apostle Suleman will not be an exception. My client has made his position known and we have no reason to retreat or surrender.

 

Inibehe Effiong

Counsel to Israel Balogun

14/8/2021.