A Nigerian televangelist Apostle Johnson Suleman, has filed two libel suits at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory against two bloggers, namely, Maureen Omorinsola Badejo, and George Chijioke.
In the separate cases, Apostle Suleman is demanding N1billion from each of the bloggers.
Apostle Suleman, General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, said in suit against Maureen, that the defendant, defamed him in a series of social media posts where she “published several defamatory statements against the plaintiff.”
According to the statement of claim filed by Apostle Suleman’s lawyer, Samuel Ihensekhien, on 19 January, 2023, the claimant chronicled the various alleged libellous social media publications.
The plaintiff lamented that the defamatory contents caused him incalculable damage and brought him to ridicule among members of his Church and business partners who are spread across the globe.
In court filings, the claimant said Maureen used her social media platform, Gio TV Foundation, where she alleged on 21 May, 2021, that the televangelist indulges in “social escapades” using the Church’s resources.
In another alleged libelous post in July 2022, Apostle Suleman said the blogger in a live video defamed him when she accused him of having intimate relationships with married women.
Similarly, the claimant decried his depiction by Maureen that he “runs a killer squad.”
“The defendant also informed the public via a Facebook post that the plaintiff (Apostle Suleman) is sleeping with his girlfriend and her mother,” the evangelist’s lawyer, Ihensekhien noted in the statement of claims.
Consequently, the claimant urged the court to declare that the “publications made by the defendant on her Facebook social media page on the 12 May, 2021, and other publications on different days relating to same defamatory subject matter, are libellous, false, malicious, injurious and have lowered the reputation and integrity of the plaintiff in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society within and outside Nigeria.”
He prayed for an order “directing the defendant to retract and/or delete all the libellous publications she has made against the plaintiff.”
The Evangelist also demanded an “unreserved apology from the defendant,” which is to be published in three reputable national dailies, and within seven days from the date of judgement.
The defendant’s lawyer equally urged the court to restrain the defendant and her agents from further defaming his client.
“An order directing the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of One billion naira only, N1,000 000 000 as damages for the false, injurious, malicious, and libellous publications against the plaintiff on Facebook social media platform.”
Similarly, in a case of alleged cyberstalking, Apostle Suleman accused
George Chijioke operating Real George blogs of posting about 160 videos on the YouTube channel portraying him in bad lights.
In court processes dated 12 January, the plaintiff said
“The defendant has posted about 160 cyberbullying and cyberstalking videos in which a significant number of is defamatory to the personality of the plaintiff.”
To underscore the amount of pain the alleged libellous posts had caused him, the plaintiff lawyer said his client has “family members, Church members and friends who are active on social media, and brought his attention to the several defamatory posts against him by the defendant through his YouTube platform.”
He noted that although some of the alleged offending posts had been deleted, there exist others which he intends to tender before the court at trial.
The suit is yet to be assigned to a judge for hearing.