The general overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries, Johnson Suleman, has denied having a relationship with a Canadian-based Nigerian, Stephanie Otobo.
In a statement on Monday, by Mr. Suleman’s spokesperson, Phrank Shaibu, the pastor denied ever meeting the woman in person, or making any marriage proposal to her. He also denied being involved in Ms. Otobo’s reported arrest on Friday March 3.
Two letters published on Sunday quoted Ms. Otobo’s lawyer, Festus Keyamo, as saying that the Canada-based Nigerian started a relationship with Mr. Suleman in 2015 and became pregnant in 2016.
According to the letters, Ms. Otobo was approached by Mr. Suleman in Canada and persuaded her to take in for him, after promising to marry her.
The letters forwarded to the Inspector General of Police and to Mr. Suleman, respectively, alleged that the pastor engaged in various sexual adventures with Ms. Otobo and lured her to forfeit her cars and landed property in Canada.
The letter also alleged that the pastor had formally been introduced to Ms. Otobo’s family as a prospective husband.
When she became pregnant, however, Mr. Suleman allegedly called off the relationship and severed all ties with the woman. Subsequently, her lawyers demanded N500 million as damages for the “broken promise of marriage”.
Ms. Otobo’s lawyers further alleged that her arrest on Friday was as a result of false information provided by Mr. Suleman.
But in a reaction on Monday, the pastor described the letters as mare attempts to tarnish his image by Ms. Otobo, and “a misled Festus Keyemo”, and some Nigerians “angry about his recent stands on national issues.”
Mr. Suleman claimed in his statement that Ms. Otobo introduced herself via a phone call to Mr. Suleiman as a stripper, who was determined to put her way of life behind and needed help from the church.
“Let me place it on record that, the lady in question is a self-confessed stripper in a night club in Canada, who like thousands of people that seek help from Apostle Johnson Suleman, called to pretentiously convey her intentions to embrace Christ and also needed financial help to keep body and soul as she no longer had a means of livelihood after quitting as a stripper,” the statement said.
“Unknown to Keyamo, the police was alerted following several attempts by the said lady to blackmail Apostle Suleiman. The police also recorded her conversations making the frivolous demand. The highpoint of the drama was her attempt to withdraw money paid into her account at the instance of the police. The lawyer should know that his client was arrested by the police with abundance of evidence confirming that she is indeed a serial blackmailer.
“Does Keyamo or his serial blackmailing client have pictures of the visit by Apostle Suleiman or his representatives to her parents? In any case, how could such a relationship have existed when Apostle and the said lady have never met physically? How could he have made a promise of a house and a lifestyle comparable to what she has in Canada when he has never been to her house or seen her physically as to have an idea of her living standards?”
“If Keyamo was not misled or excited by the prospects of a jackpot of N500 million and or an opportunity to save his already dwindling career in law practice from total caput by latching on the popularity of Apostle Suleman vide this tendentiously devilish plot and skewed romantic fantasy, then we may as well demand an evaluation of his mental state along with his client who was obviously on the verge of delusion before she was arrested. It’s either one of the options stated above or he is trying to engage in a proxy war on behalf of some unknown agents who had become irritated by Apostle’s stand on national issues. His inference to the latter incident in Keyamo’s letter to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) confirms this benign thought,” Mr. Shaibu said.
Mr. Suleman’s spokesperson accused Mr. Keyamo of forming an alliance with Ms. Otobo, over personal ties shared by the two.
“We are not surprised that this serial blackmailer decided to join forces with a serial divorcee, who has had five children from four failed marriages to make this phantom claim. But we dare to ask; Is a serial blackmailer and or a serial divorcee capable of understanding the sanctity of the institution called marriage? The nature of their mental torpidity is understandable and we invite more recondite and decent persons to read in between the lines and separate the wheats from the chaff.”