US court fines Nigerian blogger $50,000 over defamation of MFM founder, Olukoya.

Abiodun Akinwumi 2024-01-26 0

A judge, Theresa Adams of the Baltimore County Circuit Court in the United States, has slammed a record $50,000 damages on a US-based Nigerian blogger, Funke Ashekun, for defaming the General Overseer, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya.

This was disclosed in a statement on Thursday by Olukoya’s media aide, Collins Edomaruse, stressing that the jury found that the postings of Ashekun defamed the MFM and portrayed its pastors in a false image.

According to the judgement, in the matter with Case Number: C-03-CV-22-004424, the court returned a unanimous ruling in favour of MFM USA and its three pastors, Grace Ugeh, Kunle Ladipo and Adekunle Adekola.

According to the MFM, Ashekun, who recently migrated to the US, “has been on social media, spreading all manners of falsehoods against the MFM Church and its General Overseer with the sole purpose of tarnishing and damaging the reputation of the respected man of God and that of his ministry.”

Reacting to the lawsuit filed against her, the YouTuber, in a video she posted to her YouTube channel on November 28, 2023, said MFM and three of its US-based pastors filed a suit against her and accused her of defaming their General Overseer.

“I am now able to confirm to you and to formally do so now that I, Funke Ashekun, have been sued by a church in America. I want you to know I’ve been sued by a church in America. I’m also able to confirm that the name of the church that has taken me to court in America is Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, America.

“I am also able to confirm to you that I don’t know them, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Imagine, people that I don’t know are suing me. What an Irony!

“The first one is Adekunle Adekola. He’s a pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Rockville, Maryland. The second person is Kunle Ladipo. He is also a pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Bowie, Maryland. And the third person is a woman, I am surprised. She is Grace Ugeh. She is also a pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries in California; one of their branches.

“Somebody even came from California to sue me in Maryland. These are people I don’t know. I have never been to their church here in America since we relocated. I saw two of them in court recently. But I don’t think I will still recognise them if I meet two of them on the way. I am surprised how a woman will come after me for speaking against sexual assault on women,” she said.

Ashekun added that she was shocked about the lawsuit, stressing that she did not mention the name of any church or pastor in particular in any of her posts.