US court fines blogger Funke Ashekun $50,000 for defaming MFM overseer Daniel Olukoya

Blogger Funke Ashekun

A Baltimore County Circuit Court in the United States has fined blogger Funke Ashekun $50,000 for defaming the general overseer of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) Daniel Olukoya.

Olukoya’s media aide Collins Edomaruse said in a statement on Thursday that the jury found that Ashekun’s social media posts defamed the MFM and portrayed its pastors in bad light.

Delivering its judgment, the court presided over by Theresa Adams returned a unanimous verdict in favour of MFM USA and its three pastors, Grace Ugeh, Kunle Ladipo and Adekunle Adekola.

According to the MFM, Ashekun, who recently relocated to the United States, “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 Olukoya.

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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.

“I’ve never mentioned the name of any pastor or any General Overseer. I have been talking about Pharaohs. Pharaoh is a Biblical name. We all know Pharaoh to be an oppressor of God’s children,” she said.

About a week ago, she requested prayers from her Instagram followers. “MFM church takes me to court on Monday, pray along with me,” she wrote.

Reacting to the judgment, MFM lead counsel Gilbert Garcia said, according to the statement, that the “church was gratified that the jury found in favor and vindicated our position.”