By Comfort Obi
The Inspector General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba, owes Nigeria an urgent duty. It is to order the arrest and investigation of Apostle Johnson Suleiman. As they say, “His own is too much!”
There are compelling reasons why Suleiman Should be a guest of the Police. First on the list is that the IGP needs to reassure Nigerians that the Police which he heads can protect both the poor and the rich; That the Police are not for the rich only; that they don’t act on the whims and caprice of the rich; that they are not in the pockets of the rich as an oppressive weapon against the poor; IGP Baba needs to protect the image of the invaluable institution called the Police. Baba, also, needs to, as is done in some countries, protect Nigeria’s image, especially, in the hands of some so-called men of God who have reduced religion to, at once, an oppressive and a get-rich-quick weapon. A weapon to deceive and destroy. A channel for lies and all kinds of abominable acts. It is time to separate the wheat from the chaff as is done in some countries.
When you start,, they will scream blue murder, they will try to blackmail you. Ignore, and do your job. Weed the magicians, the jesters, the comedians, the cheats, the liars from the real men of God. Some of these guys are so bad that they fake miracles. They pay people to fake all kinds of illnesses, and pretend they have been cured at the touch of their hands on them. The cripple does not start to walk cautiously, they begin to run at once. The blind knows all the colors immediately, and the dumb reels out hundreds of words within a minute.
Now, Apostle Suleiman has introduced a new dimension.
Suleiman is the Overseer of the Warri-based Omega Fire Ministry, OFM. In more civilized climes, this Apostle should have since been under investigation for a number of issues bordering on the scandalous.
It was Suleiman who prayed that COVID-19 should not come to end. He said it was good for his kind of business. Of course. He said he was making more money than before COVID-19. Of course. When people, women in particular, are at their most vulnerable, they flood worship places for any kind of consolation. He even told us that he purchased another private jet within same period.
And, it is this same Suleiman who, on, at least, two occasions got entangled in scandalous situations over alleged untidy dalliances with women. As I write, another one involving two Nollywood actresses is brewing. A smooth talker, each time, he manages to wriggle out.
In the instant case, Suleiman is introducing something akin to yahoo- yahoo into the House of God. And, he should since have been invited by the Police for lying against the Angels of God, for deceiving people, for lying against an innocent Nigerian, and for causing his arrest and detention by the Police.
The story is public, but a brief recap is necessary.
A prosperity preacher, Suleiman took the abracadabra and the antics we read of, and hear of, everyday, from his type,
a notch higher than before.
Here’s what he did.
During two Church programs, Holy Ghost Conference 2021, tagged Harvest of Miracle Money, Suleiman prayed and urged Angels from Heaven to send money to the account of some of the members. He asked them to confirm.
Right there, some members confirmed getting credit alerts on their accounts from Angels.
Magic? Are there banks in Heaven. Do Angels store money in Heaven? Are they God’s accountants who He asks to dispense money to whom he pleases? And, why would that be exclusive to Apostle Suleiman’s congregation? Are the other Clerics not praying hard enough? Are the bank in Heaven, managed by Angels the source of Suleiman’s inexplicable wealth?
These were the questions that bothered many, including, perhaps, some members of Suleiman’s congregation who lost out in the abracadabra.
This largesse from Angels bothered, in particular, a YouTuber, Isreal Balogun. He analyzed the video of the miracle, and told Suleiman that he lied. That no Angels sent any money to anybody. That what Suleiman embarked on was a deliberate mass deceit of his congregation. Balogun’s audacity stung the Apostle.
When such truths as told by Balogun became public, the best Suleiman could have done was to ignore; pretend not to have heard or read about it; turn a blind eye and a deaf ear so as not to expose himself to more ridicule. When you take note and make noise to cover up, those who neither heard nor read the story go back and look it up. It spreads.
But people like Suleiman don’t do that.They crush. They flaunt powers. They flaunt connections. And in the instant case, Suleiman had to lie against Balogun for daring to tell him he deceived his congregation.
He reported Suleiman to the Police, the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, FCT, Abuja. Not to God.
I have a relation who is in the irritating habit of telling people: “I have reported you to the Court of God.” In Suleiman’s case, he refused to go to the Court of God. He went to the Police. One of Balogun’s offences: cyber-stalking. How?
But the Police went to work, all the same. And here’s what they did.
According to Balogun’s lawyer, Inibeche Effiong, Balogun was invited and kept for hours before calling him in to write a statement. That’s silent torture. When he was eventually called in, it took another four hours to write his statement and answer questions. Thereafter, he was given bail – very stringent conditions, considering the alleged offence he committed.
He was asked to bring two people with landed property in Abuja to bail him. In addition to that, he was asked to bring a level 14 Civil Servant who should come along with his letter of last promotion. All these, just because Balogun told Suleiman the truth, which is: that no Angels transferred any money to anybody.
Anyway, they got a level 13 officer instead of level 14, and the Police “kindly” accepted. They fulfilled all other bail conditions. But there was a snag. The Civil Servant had only the photocopy of his letter of last promotion. The original was at home. And the Police insisted on that. It gave them the opportunity to throw Balogun into the cell. That was Suleiman’s aim from the beginning.
What country is this? What did Balogun do wrong? What were the stringent bail conditions all about? What was the result of the investigation? Did the Police speak with the Angels? Did they invite those who got credit alerts to confirm where the money came from? Did they ask the Banks? And, did they invite Apostle Suleiman to hear his conversations with the Angels? They did none. There must be proof, a recording of the conversation. We need to hear from the Angels.
Suleiman embarked on a show of power. Because he has money, which invariably gave him a measure of clout and influence, he embarked on the intimidation of “a nobody.”
What does the Bible teach him? What does he tell God in prayers? With what he did to Balogun, knowing the truth, how did he sleep for the period Balogun was in detention. And Suleiman had an accomplice in the Police.
I agree with Balogun’s lawyer, Effiong, when he said “There is no reason why the Police should get involved. Suleiman should have gone to Court to file legal action if he felt he had been defamed.”
Sure, for, what is the business of the Police in the case? If Suleiman felt he was defamed, all he had to do was get his lawyer to write to Balogun, ask him to apologise, take down the post, or have him sued. That is how it is done.
But Apostle Suleiman wanted to show power. He wanted to intimidate Balogun, and he had a willing tool in the Police. That is another job for IGP Baba. He needs to ask his people what their business was in the case. Why they detained Balogun. And, why the stringent bail conditions? If no satisfactory answers are given, he should investigate them along with Suleiman.
I know why Apostle Suleiman resorted to the easy way out. He didn’t want to be interrogated by the law or by anybody. Some men of God are the reasons we are where we are today in the country. They climb the pulpit, and from there, they lie about just everything. They exaggerate. They play to the gallery.Their preachings are influenced. They are corrupted.They stand on the pulpit and lie before God, using His name, without fear.
One of my greatest regrets is that nobody interrogates them (in the Church) after their preaching. It would have been nice to interrogate them, you know, ask them questions on some of the points they made, on some of the stories they told, on some of the predictions they make.
A number of them see nothing but doom. They see nothing but tragedies. They see nothing but death and destruction and disaster. They are scare-mongerers.
They are preachers and prophets of doom. They predict the most frivolous things. They say there will be flood. There will be earthquake. There will be storm. There will be rain. This person will die. That person will die. This person needs prayers to survive. It is only the big men and women that they see. Not the poor. God shows them only the rich, some of whom will run to them for prayers to avert the “looming danger.” They don’t go empty-handed.
Interestingly, when tragedy would befall these Seers and Prophets, they never see them coming. Not one of them has predicted their own personal tragedies. Or the ones that suddenly befell us. For instance, they never predicted the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has turned our lives upside down and inside out.
What has saved them is that nobody whose false death or ill-health they predicted has sued them.
They read the Holy Books, the Bible and the Koran, but they interpret them on face value. Their interpretations are not only tailored toward their selfish yearnings, they are meant to deceive the congregation. They go about with scores of armed security personnel, but ask their congregation to buy “holy water, annoited oil, emblems, handkerchiefs” for protection. They have so brainwashed their followers that everything they say is believed. Every lie they tell is believed. How come God talks only to them so easily, at the drop of the hat?
Nobody should allow these guys demystify God for us. They are trying to, but He sees through their lies and deceit.
The Suleiman and Balogun incident is a good example. How can anybody believe that Angels from Heaven credited money to anybody’s accounts? One of two things happened.
It is either Suleiman asked those who confirmed they got alerts to lie, or he got their account numbers and transferred money to them. That ought to have been the beginning of Police investigation. Show us proof, the Police ought to have asked him.
I have an unsolicited advice for Balogun. He should sue Apostle Johnson Suleiman for everything he has got. The time has come to drag these people, and put their outrageous claims to test.
Suleiman’s case will be interesting.