US court Fines Nigerian Blogger $50,00 for Defamation.
Judge Theresa Adams of the Baltimore County Circuit Court in the United States has imposed a staggering $50,000 in damages on Funke Ashekun, a US-based Nigerian blogger. The ruling comes in response to a defamation lawsuit filed by the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), Dr. Daniel Olukoya.
The verdict, detailed in a statement by Olukoya’s media aide, Collins Edomaruse, underscores the jury’s unanimous decision that Ashekun’s online posts defamed MFM and presented its pastors, namely Grace Ugeh, Kunle Ladipo, and Adekunle Adekola, in a false light. The case, identified by Case Number: C-03-CV-22-004424, resulted in a resounding victory for MFM USA.
Ashekun, who recently migrated to the US, allegedly utilized social media platforms to disseminate false information about the MFM Church and its esteemed General Overseer. The motivation behind her actions, as stated by the MFM, was a deliberate attempt to tarnish the reputation of Dr. Olukoya and his ministry.
In response to the legal proceedings, Ashekun candidly addressed the lawsuit on her YouTube channel on November 28, 2023. Expressing her surprise, she revealed that MFM and three US-based pastors, Adekunle Adekola, Kunle Ladipo, and Grace Ugeh, had taken legal action against her for alleged defamation.
In her video statement, Ashekun emphasized her lack of familiarity with the plaintiffs and expressed bewilderment over being sued by individuals she claims to have never met. She went on to elaborate on the nature of her content, asserting that she focused on societal issues, particularly addressing sexual abuse within churches, without specifically naming any church or pastor.
The blogger further disclosed that she perceived the legal action against her as a response to her outspokenness on matters of sexual assault within religious institutions. She decried the irony of facing a lawsuit for speaking out against alleged abuses within the church.
Despite Ashekun’s protestations of not explicitly naming any church or pastor in her discussions, the court found in favor of MFM and its pastors. In the aftermath of the judgment, MFM’s lead counsel, Gilbert Garcia, expressed satisfaction, stating that the church was “gratified that the jury found in favor and vindicated our position.”
Agrieved parties can always appeal the Judgement of the Court, from our legal team we an action for Defamation that does not really direct to an Individual or a small group cannot stand. Expecially when the facts are true. The aggrieved party can approach the higher court.
US court Fines Nigerian Blogger $50,00 for Defamation