MFM wins as court awards N500m damages against Maureen Badejo, orders retraction

The High Court of Justice in Abeokuta, Ogun State has delivered its judgment in a N10 billion libel claim against a UK-based Vlogger Maureen Badejo, by the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries.

The incorporated trustees of MFM and its General Overseer, Dr. Daniel K. Olukoya as the 1st and 2nd claimants respectively commenced the case on September 7, 2020, to claim sundry relief against Maureen Badejo, for continuous and sustained libel published by her through free-to-air broadcasts in the social media, particularly Facebook, You-Tube and Instagram.

Court records reveal that Maureen was served all documents and hearing notices in the case by the DHL courier service, but chose to stay away from the proceedings and continued relentlessly in her broadcasts.

In his judgment delivered on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the trial judge, Justice Abiodun A. Akinyemi, while describing Maureen Badejo’s ruthless campaign against the claimants as the worst case of reckless defamation and evil use of the internet and social media, awarded the sum of N250million to each of the claimants (making a total of N500 million) as aggravated and exemplary damages for libel.

The court also ordered the defendant (Badejo) to immediately pull down and erase each of the offending online publications/posts concerning the claimants from the internet; 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, You-Tube and Instagram accounts and in at least three nationally circulating newspapers in Nigeria and two international magazines including Time International.

The court also ordered 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.

Tribune Church News also gathered that the counsel to the claimants, Ime Nya Asanga Esq., has obtained certified true copy of the judgment and a certificate of the judgment with form 35 endorsed thereon and had been served to vide DHL courier on the defendant.

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