A Baltimore County Circuit Court in the United States, presided over by Theresa Adams, has imposed a record $50,000 in damages on Funke Ashekun, a US-based Nigerian blogger, for defaming the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr. Daniel Olukoya.
According to a statement released by Olukoya’s media aide, Collins Edomaruse, the jury determined that Ashekun’s posts defamed MFM and misrepresented its pastors. The court, with Case Number: C-03-CV-22-004424, delivered a unanimous verdict in favor of MFM USA and its pastors, Grace Ugeh, Kunle Ladipo, and Adekunle Adekola.
The MFM accused Ashekun, who recently moved to the United States, of spreading false information on social media to tarnish the reputation of the church and its General Overseer.
In response to the lawsuit, Ashekun, in a video posted on her YouTube channel on November 28, 2023, confirmed being sued by MFM and its three US-based pastors. She expressed surprise at being sued by people she claimed not to know, emphasizing her focus on addressing issues of sexual assault in churches without specifically targeting any church or pastor.
Despite the shock of the lawsuit, Ashekun maintained her commitment to raising awareness about the challenges faced by women in churches, particularly concerning sexual abuse. The MFM lead counsel, Gilbert Garcia, expressed satisfaction with the jury’s decision, stating that the church was pleased to be vindicated.