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HomeLegal AffairsCourt orders actress to pay N10 m for defaming Apostle Suleiman

Court orders actress to pay N10 m for defaming Apostle Suleiman

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, has ordered a Nollywood actress, Halima Abubakar, to pay the sum of N10 million to the founder of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, for publishing defamatory posts against him on social media.
The court, in the judgement that was delivered by Justice Enobie Obanor, held that the sum would serve as aggravated and general damages for actions the actress took to tarnish the image of the cleric.
Besides, the court equally ordered the actress to retract all the defamatory posts she made against the cleric, via her Instagram handle, identified as @Halimabubakar.
The judgement followed a defamation suit marked: FCT/HC/CV/3413/2022, which Apostle Suleiman filed before the court.
The cleric told the court that the actress made several libellous statements against him on her Instagram page, which were subsequently published by many blogs and mainstream media outlets.
He told the court that the defendant had among other things, labelled him as a womaniser and a highly diabolic man that took advantage of women.
The cleric cited some of the derogatory posts that were made against him by the defendant, to include: “Shan, you said you don’t think I am smart? lol, ask Sule. At your big age am glad Gistlover sent that list. Thank you gistlover for calling me out. I for dey lie and lie for Sule? Never. God bless you gistlover. But your list is small for real. Johnson try me.
“Supporting you on your lies won’t work again. Anyone who involves his/her self will be tagged a bloodsucker. All of you supporting nonsense. No be Sule again, why do they bleed? They know the truth.
“Johnson Suleman wake up and untie her!! you must untie her. You owe her two kids you evil man… Not even how is your health for 4 years… my sister must survive O!
“PIs, don’t worry about me. But you can hold Johnson Suleman responsible just in case you can’t do anything though. Nigerians be aware, if anything happens Johnson it’s you.
“You told her to wait for you to find out why! Knowing well what you did. Giving you space is not possible. How many women have you done this to? you said it yourself that you can’t solve it! why can’t you solve it? Then you disappeared. Not a word since! With all the calls, Texts, etc. Sule, she believed you. Nigerians this man is dangerous and a hazard to society from ppl like this.”
He told the court that all the allegations were not only false but maliciously published to send his reputation in the eyes of the public.
Specifically, Apostle Suleiman demanded the sum of N1 billion as damages, as well as another N20m to cover the cost of the litigation.
Meanwhile, though the actress was served with the court processes, she was not represented in the matter by any counsel.
Consequently, Justice Obanor, in the judgement he delivered on March 27 and certified on April 8, held that the defendant waived his right to defend herself in the matter since she was given ample opportunity to do so.
He, therefore, entered judgment against the Claimant.
“This issue is therefore resolved in favour of the claimant. Accordingly, judgment is entered in favour of the claimant as follows:
“A declaration that the statements published by the defendant against the Claimant on her Instagram handle @halimabubakar, falsely and maliciously written and published to the general public, are defamatory of the person of the claimant.
“The sum of N10,000,000.00 only to the Claimant as aggravated and exemplary damages for libel contained in the publication of the defendant against the claimant on her Instagram handle @Halimabubakar and caused to be published in several blogs.
“An order of this Honourable Court compelling the defendant to pay for the deleting of all links and reportage of the said defamatory comments on all platforms on the internet,” Justice Obano held.

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