For criticising Apostle Johnson Suleman, General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry Worldwide, over his “unscriptural” Miracle Money programme, Israel Balogun, a movie producer and Founder of Wholeness Africa Initiatives, has been summoned by the Force Headquarters, Abuja, all the way from Lagos.
HOW ANGELS ‘CREDITED’ CHURCH MEMBERS’ ACCOUNTS
In a video containing clips from a Holy Ghost Convention in Auchi Edo State in June and an Impact 2021 programme in Atlanta, United States, in July, Apostle Suleman had declared that angels would credit the bank accounts of some members of the congregation. And as the video revealed, many congregants smiled their way to the pulpit to present their testimonies of instant credit alerts from angels.
“There is a miracle alert here; she just got a miracle alert of $1,000. Miracle alert!” Suleiman had screamed. “As you get it, run here. Angels will begin to put money in your accounts.”
One congregant who came out even said he received an alert of $989 and 70 cents.
“Papa, there is a miracle here,” one said. “You gave your word at about twelve minutes past eight, and it is now thirteen minutes past eight and she has been credited with several zeros.”
As with the Berean Jews, who constantly compared the apostles’ teachings to the scriptures, Balogun lambasted Apostle Suleman, noting that he was undermining the “Gospel of Christ.”
BALOGUN’S STINGING CRITICISM
In a video he posted on the Facebook page of Wholeness Africa Initiatives, he argued there was no such thing as Miracle Money and that the apostle was twisting the gospel.
He said Suleiman’s claims had nothing to do with Christ and that what he witnessed was more akin to sorcery than a miracle.
“This is not Christ. This is not Christianity. This is voodoo,” Balogun had said. “This is magic. This is not from God. It can never be from God. God does not deposit money into people’s accounts. Angels do not share money.”
Balogun argued that the congregants who received credit alerts during the course of the programmes must, at some point, have given their account details to the men of Apostle Suleman when they filled out certain forms that demanded their account numbers.
He further said the unsuspecting crowd, who were overjoyed because they received credit alerts from angels, would pay the money back to the church who sent them the money in many folds, as the church would still ask them to pay their tithes and sow a seed.
“Apostle Suleman is using this tactic to enjoin people to pay more money to the church. The programme is one where this man has an arrangement with some guys. They must have collected people’s bank details in the name of proper documentation, then they credit these people while the service is ongoing, as they would have planned before the service started,” Balogun had said.
“This trick will make them believe that God is there. And henceforth, what the Apostle says has to be obeyed. And this is exactly why the church should stand against this type of practice and bring sanity to the church again. This is the video of a man who had an arrangement with some guys behind the scenes. They already collected the account details of those congregants.”
LAWSUIT, THEN POLICE INVITATION
Apostle Suleman did not take the criticism lightly, as he immediately filed a lawsuit against Balogun bordering.
In a letter dated July 27, 2021 but sent to Balogun via WhatsApp on August 3, 2021, his lawyers claimed Balogun painted their client as a criminal, a magician, and a saboteur of the country’s economic values.
“The above allegations of defamatory statements made against our clients by you (Balogun) are untrue, unreal, and calculated to defame and ridicule Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide”, read a part of the letter.
Balogun was given seven days to apologise. But less than 24 hours after, ACP Yusuf Abubakar, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, sent a letter requesting to interview him on the grounds of “defamation and cyberstalking” on August 11, 2021.
Balogun took to his Facebook page, in another video, to explain that he had been constantly harassed by some supporters of Apostle Suleman, adding that he now receives calls and threats through texts from people he suspects to be members of Omega Fire Ministries.
In a response on August 6, Balogun was described by his lawyer Inibehe Effiong Esq as a law-abiding citizen who would not cower even when Apostle Suleman’s lawyers threatened to invoke “the entire due process of the law”.
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