Famous preacher and the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries (OFM), Apostle Suleman Johnson, has resumed hostilities with Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment.
In 2017, the General Overseer traded words with Mr Keyamo over the latter’s client, Stephanie Otobo, who accused the preacher of forceful abortion of pregnancy.
Otobo, at a news briefing in Mr Keyamo’s chambers, among other things, accused the pastor of impregnating and dumping her via two letters written and signed by Mr Keyamo.
Mr Suleman denied all the allegations and threatened legal action against Mr Keyamo, demanding N1 billion from the lawyer “for all the injuries inflicted on him,” as well as a retraction of all the allegations within seven days.
The preacher said the accusations stemmed from his recent stand against issues bordering on national security, adding that some “powerful forces” are after him.
Mr Keyamo, in turn, described the preacher’s claims as “ridiculous” and “laughable,” adding that the threat was a mere ploy by the cleric to deceive the public.
Though the accusation lingered for about five years, Mr Keyamo has moved on to bigger things as he is now a minister and a stalwart of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Mr Suleman, on the other hand, has had other run-ins with Otobo. He was also involved in another sex scandal with Nollywood actress Halima Abubakar whom he sued for N1bn.
However, the wounds remain open for Mr Suleman as he threw a subtle shade at Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Author of fake news
In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Mr Suleman described Mr Keyamo as an author of fake news who now wants social media to be regulated due to the constant bashing he gets.
Mr Keyamo on Monday spoke at a media workshop on ‘Balancing Ethics and Patriotism: the Obligations of Journalists to their Country’ organised by the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa.
Mr Keyamo also said that laws must be enacted to criminalise fake news.
Speaking at the media workshop through his special adviser, Niyi Fatogun, Mr Keyamo pointed out that although social media has come to stay in the country, laws must be established to regulate and sanitise the system.
He said to kill fake news, which, according to him, can destroy the country’s fabric, fake social media accounts must first be killed.
This has caused the controversial preacher to react on Twitter.
Although he didn’t mention any name, Mr Suleman stylishly described Mr Keyamo as an author of fake news. According to him, in 2017, he conspired with a Canada-based lady he never met.
‘‘One of the Authors of Fake News, who poses to be a lawyer, now wants social media regulated cos of the constant bashing he gets.(Gal 6.7)..
In 2017 he conspired with a Canadian base lady whom I had NEVER met.
“He dropped a senseless legal suit online and copied over 200 bloggers. I woke up to meet a suit supposedly meant for me online.
Mr lawyer, what do you call that news you were peddling to destroy a man’s reputation?..you know all you did.
“You were then made a SAN for a job well done. What you did to me, and others will haunt you for life down to your generation. Leave social media; it’s very okay and needs no regulation,” he wrote.
The Otobo saga
Otobo, also famous as Stephanie D’ocean or Kimora, is a Nigerian-born Canada-based musician in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The singer, who began making music officially in 2016, has accused Mr Suleman of being a sexual offender at different points.
Among other things, she accused him of illegal procurement of abortion, a threat to life, and attempted murder.
She later made a U-turn saying “very strong and powerful politicians and pastors” paid her to defame him.
Years later, Otobo surfaced again. This time, she released a diss track, ‘Apostle’, dedicated to the preacher.
She also released a photo that she claimed was the pastor’s ‘genitals’ on a Twitter thread and said he planned to kill her.
She also challenged him to come forward and debunk her claims while threatening to release a video.
Mr Suleman has since denied having a relationship with Otobo.
His spokesperson, Phrank Shaibu, claimed the pastor never met Otobo in person nor promised to marry her.
Her mother, Bukky, also visited Mr Suleman’s in Auchi, Edo State, where she apologised on her daughter’s behalf.