UK Court Approves N500m Damages to Dr. Olukoya for Defamation Case Against Blogger


On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi of an Ogun State High Court in Abeokuta had given a judgment in favor of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), and its General Overseer, Dr. Daniel Olukoya, against U.K-based blogger, Maureen Badejo for slander publications. The sum of N500m was awarded to the cleric for damages. According to The Punch, the N500m has been registered by a United Kingdom High Court on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. 

Spokesperson of MFM, Collins Edomaruse, released a statement to this effect on Tuesday. Below is an excerpt.

“By this development, the judgment of Justice Abiodun Adeyemi becomes, for all intents and purposes, judgment of the Queen’s Bench Division and will soon be executed on the judgment-debtor, Maureen Badejo, in that country.’’

Edomaruse also added that a ‘’certified true copy of the judgment and its certificate with Form 35 endorsed thereon, had been served vide DHL courier with proof of service indicated that Badejo had received the court ruling.’’

The court also granted “a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant by herself, her agents, servants, privies or other persons howsoever called or described from further making, publishing and/or disseminating defamatory stories and statements about the claimants or any one of them.”

In the words of the judge, the blogger’s report reflects the worst case of reckless defamation and evil use of the internet and social media.

Badejo, anchor person in the Facebook-GIO TV, had made some publications which were described as 52 lies by the Incorporated Trustees of MFM and Olukoya.

According to her report, the government of United States was defrauded by Olukoya when he sold his books in the country and refused to pay the tax due on them. Also, she alleged that the preacher’s son, Elijah Toluwani Olukoya had N6bn in Heritage Bank in Nigeria.

Furthermore, GIO TV had reported that a £150,000 was paid into the personal account of Dr. Olukoya by a certain MFM pastor in the UK and he moved to Nigeria to ask the preacher to help him cover up his scam.

A N10bn libel suit was filed by the lawyer to the plaintiffs, Ime Nya Asanga. In his ruling, Justice Akinyemi awarded N250m to each of the claimants (making a total of N500m) as aggravated and exemplary damages for libel. 

Badejo was ordered by the judge to “immediately pull down and erase each of the offending online publications/posts concerning the claimants from the internet.”

Besides, she was asked to “tender a written apology and retraction of the offending publications and posts in a form and content acceptable to the claimants and published prominently in her Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts and in at least three nationally circulating newspapers in Nigeria and two international magazines, including TIME International, forthwith.”

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