Saturday, January 29, 2022

    Mountain Of Fire And Miracles Ministries Finally Speaks On Its Court Victories Against Blogger Over Defamation

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    Naija247news Editorial Team
    Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

    The Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries has described its victory at the United Kingdom High Court of Justice, London, as “tribute to the Lord our God who would never permit evil to triumph over righteousness”.

    The Queen’s Bench Division had on Tuesday granted a perpetual injunction restraining Maureen Badejo, a Nigerian blogger who made allegations against the church, from publishing further defamatory words against or concerning the General Overseer, Daniel Olukoya, his family and the church at large.
    Shortly after the court ruling, the church took to its verified Facebook handle (MFM International Headquarters) to react to the development.

    The statement on the social media handle read, “Members and Friends of MFM will recall that from the evening of 20th August 2020, one Maureen Badejo has been having a field day broadcasting all manners of falsehood against this Church, its General Overseer and his family, pastors and members.

    “Aspects of those publications which pertained to MFM International and Dr Olukoya were ventilated in a court case before the High Court of Ogun State, Abeokuta in Suit No. AB/407/2020 in which judgment was entered in favour of MFM and our General Overseer.

    “Aspects of those broadcasts which pertained to The General Overseer and Mummy GO were filed as a suit in the High Court of London in the Strand, Queen’s Bench Division. In the course of the hearing which was listed at 10.30 am and concluded at 1.05 pm today, April 13, 2021, the evidence was so overwhelming that even Maureen Badejo’s lawyer conceded that her remarks in all those broadcasts were ‘serious and defamatory’.

    “Judgment was pronounced today in which the Court granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining Maureen Badejo from publishing defamatory words against or concerning the Plaintiffs and ordered her to pay the legal costs incurred by the Olukoyas in the suit.

    “The erudite Judge opined in his judgment thus ‘…it is overwhelmingly clear that the nature of this defamation is severe and serious… and that the number of publications is considerable’.

    “Maureen Badejo had filed a counter-claim to demand monies allegedly lost by her from the shutting down of some of her broadcasts by YouTube and Facebook sequel to complaints from Dr Olukoya’s lawyers.

    “The Judge in dismissing it as a frivolous claim branded it an abuse of process. The London case will continue for the Court to forensically determine the quantum of damages to be awarded to Dr and Mrs Olukoya for these defamations.

    “These victories are a tribute to the Lord our God who would never permit evil to triumph over righteousness.”

    Last year, Badejo was accused of using her social media channels to blackmail Olukoya and his church on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

    She claimed that Olukoya and his church, the claimants, duped the United States Government by selling his books in the US without paying due tax.

    She also alleged that a pastor from MFM in the UK paid £150,000 into the personal account of Mr Olukoya and then went to Nigeria to meet the cleric so he could help him cover up his fraud.

    In February 2021, an Ogun State High Court ordered a Badejo to pay ₦500 million to the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) and its General Overseer, Olukoya, for defamation.

    Abiodun Akinyemi, while delivering the judgment, also ordered Badejo, the proprietor of Gio TV, to pull down and erase the offending online publications concerning the claimants from the internet.

    The judge further ordered the blogger to tender a written apology and retraction of the offending publications prominently on social media and at least three national dailies.

    “Watching and listening to the broadcasts when demonstrated in open court, I was taken aback at the reckless and defiant attitude of the defendant,” said the judge.

    “What was more, it was a phone-in programme in which the defendant even granted audience to the public to make contributions on the information provided by her concerning the claimants.

    “I cannot imagine a worse case of reckless defamation or evil use of the internet and social media. Considering the totality of the circumstances of this case, and in particular the conduct of the defendant, I am of the view that the claimants deserve to be substantially compensated in aggravated and exemplary damages.”

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