The Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, FCIID, Abuja, has released Israel Balogun, who was earlier detained over allegations of criminal defamation and cyber stalking on Youtube leveled against him by Apostle Johnson Suleman, general overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries International.
Balogun was arrested and detained yesterday after he was given stringent bail conditions.
Today, Inibehe Effiong, his lawyer, told newsmen of the release of Balogun after a 24 hour detention.
Said the lawyer: “Finally, we have Mr. Israel Balogun here with us. He has just been released from the custody of the FCIID in Abuja over the petition filed by Apostle Johnson Suleman.
“He had petitioned the police and got him (Balogun) arrested over alleged cyber-stalking and defamation.
“He spent the night in custody which was unnecessary.
Balogun’s ordeal began when posted a video on his Youtube channel where he showed clips of Apostle Suleman declaring to his congregation that angels would deposit money into their bank accounts.
The clips were from ministrations of the cleric in Atlanta, United States, and Auchi, Edo State, where worshippers showed their phones to testify to receiving credit alerts in their bank accounts.
While many commended the Youtuber, Counsel for Suleman, Samuel Amune, said Balogun defamed the preacher as called him unprintable names.
But Effiong, Balogun’s Counsel, countered that his client did not defame Suleman as he acted within his “right to freedom of expression.”
He said: “We are not afraid of going to court, we are not afraid of prosecution; we are not afraid of the powers of the state because my client is on the side of the law.”
The lawyer said that it is “a statement of falsehood for a man of God” to stand on the pulpit and command Angels to credit money into people’s account, adding that Suleman should command Angels to credit the accounts of the Federal Government to assist the country.
“The government is facing a lot of challenges; even to pay salaries now is a problem, even to execute projects, the government has to rely on China. So, if we have an Apostle in Nigeria that has the capacity to command Angels to credit people’s accounts, why can’t he also credit the country’s accounts,” he said.