A YouTuber, Israel Balogun has filed a suit against the founder of Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleman over his arrest and illegal detention.
Balogun who runs the Wholeness Africa Initiatives channel was invited and subsequently detained through a letter dated August 11, 2021, with reference No. CR: 3000/×/FHQ/SEB/ABJ//T3/VOL.3, signed by ACP Y. Y. Abubakar of the Special Enquiry Bureau, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID), Area 10, Abuja.
He was accused of criticising Pastor Johnson Suleman over the cleric’s claims that he commanded angels to send and deposit miracle money into the bank accounts of some worshippers.
In one of his videos, Balogun analysed and condemned a video from two of the programmes of the church, one in Atlanta, USA, titled, ‘Impact 2021’ which was held in July and a June 2021 programme, Holy Ghost Conference 2021 held in Auchi, Edo State Nigeria, tagged, ‘Harvest of Miracle Money’.
Joined in the suit are Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Special Enquiry Bureau FCIID, ACP Y. Y. Abubakar; Deputy Inspector General of Police FCIID, Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali and Nigeria Police Force.
In a fundamental rights enforcement suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1390/2021 filed by human rights lawyer and counsel for the YouTuber, Inibehe Effiong, which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday, Balogun is asking the court to order the pastor to pay him N500 million as damages for his detention and violation of fundamental rights.
Inibehe also asked the court for a declaration that the arrest and detention of his client by the 2nd to 5th respondents on the instigation of the 1st Respondent, from 10:00 am on August 11, 2021, to around 6:30 pm on August 12, 2021, without being charged to court for a known offence, is unreasonable, unjustifiable, illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of the fundamental rights to personal liberty and freedom of movement as guaranteed by Sections 35 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Articles 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap. A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Other reliefs sought in the suit include:
“A DECLARATION that the subjection of the Applicant to harassment, intimidation, mental torture and detention in a horrible and congested cell with no proper ventilation by the 2nd to 5th Respondents on the instigation of the 1st Respondent, from 11th to 12th August 2021, is inhuman, degrading, unjustifiable, illegal, unconstitutional and a breach of the Applicant’s Fundamental Right to the dignity of the human person as guaranteed by Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap. A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“A DECLARATION that the arrest, detention, intimidation and dehumanization of the Applicant by the 2nd to 5th Respondents on the instigation of the 1st Respondent, for disavowing the false, duplicitous and baseless claims of the 1st Respondent that following his command, angels mysteriously deposited Miracle Money in the pockets of worshippers and also credited the bank accounts of worshippers with Miracle Money Alerts, is unjustifiable, unreasonable, arbitrary, uncivilized, illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to a breach of the fundamental right of the Applicant to freedom of expression as guaranteed by Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification And Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9 L.F.N. 2004.
“AN ORDER of this Honourable Court directing and compelling the Respondents, jointly and severally, to publish an unreserved written apology to the Applicant in the Punch Newspapers and The Nation Newspapers for breaching the Applicant’s fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, personal liberty, freedom of expression and freedom of movement.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents, jointly and severally, whether by themselves, their agents, employees, operatives, detectives, investigating officers howsoever or by whatever name called, from further interfering with the Applicant’s fundamental rights in any manner.”
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit