The controversy between former Nollywood actress, Halima Abubakar, and Apostle Suleman Johnson, the Founder of Omega Fire Ministries International, has taken a new turn as the preacher has formally taken the matter to court.
The preacher, through his legal representatives, Ephesus Lex Attorneys & Solicitors, brought Ms Abubakar before Justice. J. Enobie Obanor of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in the Abuja Judicial Division.
In October 2022, Apostle Johnson Suleman filed a case against her for alleged defamation.
The court case commences on the 25th of March.
In 2022, the Apostle filed a writ against the actress seeking several reliefs against her.
It was the first time he would publicly react to the matter since it came to the fore in July 2022 after Gistlover made a post linking her alleged affair with the Apostle to the fibroid surgery she underwent.
Then, the actress’ siblings called the apostle on Instagram and asked him to stay away from her.
Among other things, the Apostle sought a declaration that her publication was defamatory.
He also demanded that she tendered an unreserved apology and other monetary damages.
This came barely 24 hours after she held a live session on Instagram regarding her relationship with Apostle Suleman.
Last minute resort
As though she got wind of the lawsuit, the actress, Friday, repeatedly tried to hold a live Instagram session with notorious faceless blogger, Gistlover.
The session failed to hold due to poor connection, which the faceless blogger attributed to Apostle Suleman’s ‘spiritual’ interference.
After the failure of the actress to meet his demands, the Apostle and his legal representatives have started legal proceedings against her.
Mr Suleman’s legal representative, Rodney Adzuanaga, told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday that rather than honour the cleric’s initial cease and desist notice, the actress boasted that she was willing to meet in court.
“We then filed our process and got an order from the court to continue with the proceedings. As it stands, she has been served. Since we don’t know her address here in Abuja, we decided to send her the notice through the Daily Trust newspaper.
“Whether she comes to court or not is not our business. We have to prove our case, and the court will take it from there. What I do know is that she has been served,” he said.
Before the commencement of the legal proceedings, Ms Abubakar, who is said to be down with an undisclosed ailment, alleged that she once dated the Apostle,
She also, among other things, accused the apostle of being behind her ailment, noting that if anything happened to her, he should be held responsible.
The apostle, who recently survived a gun attack, is levelling defamation charges against the actress.
According to the court document, her statements injured his character, credit, reputation, integrity, and ministry.
Mr Suleman is asking the court for an order directing the defendant to publish a retraction of her defamatory statements posted on her Instagram handle @Halimabubakar and on several online blogs and newspapers.
He is also asking for an order compelling her to pay for the deleting of all links and reportage of the said defamatory comments on all platforms on the internet.
Other demands include the sum of N1 billion as aggravated and exemplary damages for libel, an order of perpetual injunction restraining her, her agents or servants or otherwise from further publishing or causing to be published the said or similar statements defamatory of the claimant.
In October 2022, Ms Abubakar, who began acting in 2001 when she played a minor role in ‘Rejected’, announced that she quit working.
The controversial actress broke the news on her official Instagram page.
Although she didn’t state the reasons behind the decision, the post caption, ‘rejuvenate and continue healing,’ suggests it may have to do with her deteriorating health.
For months unending, the erstwhile actress accused the controversial cleric of reneging on his promise to marry her.
She also said he was behind an undisclosed life-threatening ailment that had plagued her for years.
The preacher then issued a cease and desist notice to the actress.
The cleric accused her Ms Abubakar of publishing malicious, defamatory, and demeaning statements about him on several microblog sites, chiefly Gistlover.