Defamation: UK court throws out blogger’s appeal against Pastor Olukoya, wife
A High Court of Justice in London has dismissed an appeal filed by a UK-based blogger, Maureen Badejo, against the judgment of the court to pay the sum of £65,000 and £35,000 to the founder of Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, and his wife, Folashade, for defaming their characters.
The court, presided over by Justice Amanda Tipples, dismissed the appeal filed by Maureen Badejo challenging the court’s order which mandated her to publish the court judgment in 10 social media platforms used in defaming the Olukoyas.
A High Court had previously instructed Badejo to pay damages to both Olukoya and his wife. Badejo, who operates through an online platform called GIO TV and several other channels, had used her platforms over a period of months to propagate outright falsehoods, innuendoes and misconceptions against the MFM Ministries, its senior pastors and the persons of the General Overseer, his wife and son.
The church, its founder, and his wife had taken the blogger before the court, in a suit marked QB-2020-003625, for defamation in relation to allegations of dishonesty and sexual misconduct.
The court struck out the blogger’s defence for disclosing no reasonable grounds for defending the claim against her, and as an abuse of the court’s process.
Consequently, both Dr Olukoya and his wife obtained summary judgment against Badejo; an injunction was granted preventing Badejo from further publishing any of the allegations she had made against the couple. Dissatisfied with the court order, Badejo appealed the judgment.
Justice Mrs Tipples, after perusing all the processes filed by the parties in a judgment delivered on November 1, held: “I do not consider it is reasonable under Section 12(4) of the 2013 Act, to order the defendant to publish the summary of the judgment on all 10 social media sites identified by the claimants and, in particular on the Twitter and Instagram account identified and on her YouTube channel and Global Interdenominational Outreach UK GIO TV
“Having said that, the defendant is not entitled to re-argue matters decided by the court on October 22, 2021, namely that the summary of the judgment be published on the social media accounts of GIO TV as the claimants correctly point out her connection with GIO Tv is set out in the time of the particulars of claim and they obtained summary. Judgment on their claim in front of Master Thomett in April 2021. The publication of the defendant’s videos on, for example, Gio TV’s Facebook attracted a substantial (133 878) views, as did the publication on the Facebook account of Gio TV Foundation (12,862). Further, at the hearing before me on 22 October 2021, the defendant accepted these accounts were under her control, and she described them as my channels.
“It is, therefore, appropriate for the defendant to publish a summary of the judgment to the audience on those accounts, and on Gio TV’s website.”
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