- It’s a blackmail, says pastor
Outspoken Senior Pastor of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, Apostle Johnson Suleman, is now enmeshed in a controversy over an alleged failed marriage proposal to a Canada-based Nigerian lady.
The lady, an artist, Miss Stephanie Otobo, is demanding N500 million from Apostle Suleman as damages for breach of promise to marry her. But when contacted, Apostle Suleman told New Telegraph that it was a blackmail.
In a letter of March 3, addressed to the pastor from the chambers of Stephanie’s lawyer, Festus Keyamo, it was claimed that the lady started a relationship with Apostle Suleman sometimes in June 2015 in Canada after the pastor told her he had formally divorced his wife.
Apostle Suleman was said to have invited the lady from Canada to Europe where “he always slept with her all night after church programmes, at a time she was the one who normally sent the topic of the pastor’s sermon and the song to be rendered”.
It was further claimed that Stephanie was later invited by the pastor to his church in Nigeria where he begged her to get pregnant for him because he wanted more male children.
The letter reads in part: “Our client later got pregnant for you and at that time you formally proposed marriage to her which she accepted. “In furtherance to the said marriage proposal, you went to our client’s family with drinks and gifts for an introduction.
At the introduction, in which our client’s mother, sister, uncle, cousins and other family members were in attendance, you informed them of your intention to marry our client as your wife.
“You also made our client to forfeit her house, cars, friends and other things in Canada as you promised to get a house for her in Nigeria and make her comfortable.
“Despite the foregoing, you finally called it quit with our client and has resorted to threatening her life through different persons and agencies.”
The pastor was given a week to make the payment failure which a legal action would be instituted against him. Keyamo also petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, seeking the immediate release of his client whom he claimed was arrested by the police at the instance of Apostle Suleman.
In the petition dated March 4, Stephanie was said to have been arrested inside a banking hall by the police on March 3, at the “behest of Apostle Suleman on a trumped up allegation of fraud and related offences”. But in his reaction to the allegations, the pastor said Stephanie was only out to exploit and blackmail him.
Apostle Suleman, who spoke with our correspondent through his media aide, Frank Shuaibu, said the closest the lady had come to him was through a telephone conversation.
Shuiabu also said there was no time Keyamo wrote any letter to Apostle Suleman demanding any money. He said: “We have been following this event for over a month now and the closest contact the lady had with the pastor was a telephone conversation in 2015 where she confessed to being a prostitute that needed rehabilitation.
“The pastor then prayed with her and encouraged other members of the church to support her through prayers. “Apostle Suleman is happily married with five children and as at 2015 he was through with child birth.
“A month ago, we got a call from the lady’s boyfriend demanding compensation of N500 million because he had evidence against the pastor concerning amorous relationship with her. The pastor, however, urged him to go ahead if he has any evidence.
“The man, who claimed to be a Boko Haram member, was persistently calling and even threatened to burn down the church if his request was not granted.
“We later informed the police and we were asked to play along with the caller and the lady until she was eventually arrested by the police where they had gone to collect the money in a bank.
“The lady only recently arrived Nigeria, so the claim that she relocated to Nigeria since 2015 is not only fallacious but wicked. The police are in possession of the international passport of the said lady. “We challenge Keyamo to come up with pictures of the introduction he claimed Apostle Suleman had with the lady.”