The defamation suit filed by a cleric, Johnson Suleman, against Stephanie Otobo has been stalled following the latter’s absence in court.
Mr. Suleman filed the lawsuit against Ms. Otobo, 23, after she claimed that she was into a romantic relationship with him.
The cleric is seeking N1 billion damages for the alleged defamation of his character by Ms. Otobo who failed to show up at the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja where the matter came up for hearing on Thursday.
The Canada-based singer was also not represented by any lawyer. Mr. Suleman’s lawyer, E. L. Akpofure, said despite being served with court papers and hearing notices, Ms. Otobo failed to enter any appearance.
The counsel said he had already, on behalf of his client, filed an application seeking interlocutory injunction against the defendant. He also said it was unfortunate that the application could not be taken due to her absence.
Mr. Akpofure said, “My Lord, our motion is very ripe for hearing but sadly, the defendant is not in court, neither is she represented. The defendant has refused to enter appearance in this matter despite the fact that she has been duly served with hearing notices.
“I would have said that My Lord should hear the motion, but I suggest that things be done the right way and another hearing notice be reissued to the defendant.”
The presiding judge, Adedayo Oyebanji, noted that though there was proof that Ms. Otobo was served with the hearing notice, she did not appear and was not represented.
He, however, said another hearing notice would be issued and served on her. He adjourned the matter until February 7, 2018.
Ms. Otobo had also accused Mr. Suleman, through her lawyer, of failing to keep a marriage promise made to her last year. She formally filed a petition asking the police to investigate multiple allegations against the preacher.
In a letter to the Lagos State Police Commissioner in February, 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.