Johnson Suleman, the clergyman accused by a Canada-based Nigerian woman of having amorous relationship with her, on Sunday, declined to speak on the allegation, saying he would only “open up” at the appropriate time.
PREMIUM TIMES met Mr. Suleman, the founder of Omega Fire Ministry, OFM, in his Auchi, Edo State office for about 20 minutes shortly after a church service that lasted about four hours.
Our reporters joined the service midway, where Mr. Suleman spoke about the need for unity in the body of Christ in his sermon.
The cleric, who said he was rushing to the Benin airport to catch a flight to Cyprus and Turkey for religious crusades, pleaded with PREMIUM TIMES to be excused from commenting on the matter because it would be subjudicial to speak on it.
This newspaper had on Saturday interviewed Ms. Otobo’s mother, Bukky, at her Sapele, Delta State base.
The light-complexioned woman had said during the interview that she travelled to Auchi to beg Mr. Suleman because her daughter had been manipulated by lawyers.
She had said, “I did that because of my daughter, (and) because I am a mother. The way I am seeing her is not the way I brought her up. And all those her character is not giving me happiness which I want to put an end to. That is why I went to Auchi.”
Mr. Suleman who was approached by this newspaper to speak on the issue, said he would “only do so at the appropriate time.”
He assured that he would speak to PREMIUM TIMES because of the newspaper’s credibility.
He thereafter offered to take a group photograph with the newspaper’s reporters in his palatial office.
Apart from veiled references to the matter during church services, Mr. Suleman has not publicly reacted to the allegations in the media.
His publicists, Phrank Shaibu, had however issued several statements denying the alleged illicit affair with Ms. Otobo.
Ms. Otobo was recently re-arraigned by the police for alleged blackmail, threat to life, conspiracy, and intent to steal from Mr. Suleman.
She was arraigned alongside her associate, Wisdom Godstime, before Magistrate Kikelomo Bukola-Ayeye of the Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos. Ms. Otobo and her co-defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were granted bail in the sum of N100,000 each. The case was then adjourned to April 27 for commencement of trial.
This development comes a week after Ms. Otobo formally filed a petition asking the police to investigate multiple allegations against the preacher.
In a letter to the Lagos State Police Commissioner, she accused Mr. Suleman of illegal procurement of abortion, threat to life, and attempted murder.
Ms. Otobo’s petition came days after she told journalists at a press conference that her relationship with Mr. Suleman ended after the preacher began to insist he wanted a sexual activity that involved a threesome.