Overseer, Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries, Apostle Helen Ukpabio has
allegedly sued two UK based rights organizations, British Humanist Association
(BHA) and Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network(WHRIN) for
popular film maker is interestingly asking for 500 million pounds (N130
billion) to redeem her battered and maligned image.
to ENCOMIUM Weekly on September 4, 2014 when Apostle Ukpabio was contacted she confirm
the case and give us more insight into the matter, she pleaded to be left
alone. “Please, go ahead and tell me what you want,” she said.
draw her attention to stories that she is in court in the UK to stop some
non-governmental organizations, NGOs from spreading lies against her person and
deliverance ministry but she was surprisingly not willing to talk about the
suit that is generating massive media attention across the globe.
leave me out of this. Thank you”.
sent her an unreplied SMS, cited below:
morning, ma. Did you sue the British Humanist Association (BHA) and the
Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN). Are you demanding 500
million pounds (130 billion)? Thanks, Uche Olehi, Associate Editor.”
to the online portal, Premium Time, Apostle Helen Ukpabio who lost four of her
siblings not long ago, is in court demanding a whopping N130 billion from the
NGOs she accused of tarnishing her image and reputation.
Ukpabio is accusing BHA and WHRIN, of libel. Premium Time claimed the preacher
said her teachings that a child “under the age of two” who exhibits certain
“symptoms” may be possessed by vampire spirits have been misrepresented by the
under the age of two who is possessed with black, red and vampire witchcraft
spirits can be identified by features such as she “screams at night, cries, is
always feverish, suddenly deteriorates in health, puts up an attitude of fear,
and may not feed very well, ”Premium Time quoted Evangelist Ukpabio.
preacher said children who stamp their feet may be “trying to make signs… to
communicate with gnomes, the witchcraft spirit in charge of the earth.”
statement by BHA and WHRIN quoted the renowned evangelist as stating that they
had misrepresented her by saying that she ascribed these symptoms to satanic
possession and hence had damaged her reputation and livelihood to the sum of
half a billion pounds.
Copson, BHA’s Chief Executive, however, described the legal action against his
group as an attempt by Apostle Ukpabio to silence her critics.
her baseless identification of features of ‘possessed children’ and her
dangerous and irresponsible teachings, we feel a strong moral duty to point
this out and will not be deflected by libel suits from wealthy ‘witch-finders.
of legal action like this are blatant attempts to silence critics of the harms
done by these religious and superstitious beliefs and rituals. Rather than
entertaining her vexatious claims in the courts, we believe the UK should be
ensuring that Ms Ukpabio and her ilk are denied entry to our country to protect
children from their degrading practices,” Copson added.
Foxcroft, Executive Director of WHRIN said that the court case is the latest in
a long line of “unsuccessful legal actions” that Helen Ukpabio had pursued
against him and other human rights activists.
cases were thrown out of court in Nigeria but this time she is looking to take
action in a UK court,” Mr. Foxcroft said.
no doubt that a judge in the UK will reach the same conclusion as those in
Nigeria. Of course, the real question here is whether our government should
allow hate preachers like Helen Ukpabio to enter the UK.
reaction to the suit, Mark Stephens, the lawyer representing the defendants in
the suit, said that British libel laws must never be abused to censor matters
of such public importance.
Ukpabio had been criticised by foreign rights groups who are clearly against
the gospel (BHA members are atheists). Deploying their international contacts
and resources, they have over the years, launched a serious campaign against
the preacher. It even got to a point that the Akwa Ibom state Governor, Chief
Godswill Akpabio had to step into the matter.
embattled singer and top film producer disclosed this to ENCOMIUM Weekly at a
media briefing in Lagos when she launched her album months back.
fed up with the groups, Helen Ukpabio has now reportedly sued them, claiming
all of N130 billion damages.
Friday, September 5, 2014, ENCOMIUM Weekly reached out to WHRIN.
the following message to the NGO through their Facebook account, WHRIN
Weekly. Nigeria’s leading celebrity journal wants to confirm if it is true that
the General Overseer of Liberty Gospel Church, Apostle Helen Ukpabio joined you
in a libel suit with the British Humanist Association (BHA).
were you served and when would the matter be heard?
also forward to us your lawyers’ phone numbers/email address.
Uche Olehi, Associate Editor”, our message read.
we also forwarded the same mail to WHRIN. But we didn’t get any response from
them before going to press.