A United Kingdom High Court of Justice, Strand, London, (Queen’s Bench Division) has set aside the judgment received by the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya, in a case against a Nigerian blogger, Maureen Badejo, over alleged defamation.
According to the court order obtained by SaharaReporters, the UK judge in his judgment set aside the March 30, 2021, judgment by a High Court of Justice in Ogun State of Nigeria in proceedings numbered AB/407/2020 obtained by Olukoya.
The judge also on July 28 ordered the claimant, Olukoya, to pay £50.00 within 14 days to Badejo as application fees.
The judge said, “Upon the application of the Defendant, AND UPON hearing the solicitor for the Claimants and the Defenfdant in person, IT IS ORDERED THAT:
“The registration orders each dated 30 March 2021 in respect of the judgment dated 9 February 2021 of the High Court of Justice of the Ogun State of Nigeria in proceedings numbered AB/407/2020 as a judgment in the Queen Bench Division of the High Court of Justice are set aside.
“The Claimant shall pay the Defendant cost of the application assessed at £50.00 within 14 days.”
In February 2021, the Ogun State High Court had ordered Badejo to pay N500million to Olukoya for defamation.
Abiodun Akinyemi, while delivering the judgment, had also ordered Badejo, the proprietor of Gio TV, to pull down and erase the offending online publications concerning the claimants from the internet.
But the UK court set aside the rulings in a july 28 court judgment sent to SaharaReporters.
The UK ruling came a few weeks after a United States District Court in California also struck out a case by Olukoya against the blogger.
The US Court in the case Number 20-cv-08001-HSG also gave an order “denying motion for default judgment” and it dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.
“The plaintiff (Olukoya) filed a motion for entry of default on February 3, 2021, and entry of default was noticed by the Clerk on February 4, 2021. At the initial case management conference on February 16, 2021, the Court expressed to Plaintiffs’ counsel concern that the Court lacked subject matter and personal jurisdiction over this matter.
“The Counsel responded that he would consult with his clients to either file a notice of dismissal or a motion for default judgment that set out the basis for the Court to exercise jurisdiction.
“On March 9, 2021, a letter from Ms. Badejo was entered into the docket in which she stated that she is a permanent resident of the United Kingdom and that she disputes the Court’s jurisdiction over her. Plaintiffs filed the currently pending motion for default judgment,” the court document reads.
In the judgment delivered on May 6, the US District judge, Haywood Gilliam, stated that the plaintiffs’ (Olukoya and MFM) motion for default judgment is denied and the case is dismissed.
The judge had said, “In determining whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant is proper, a district court must apply the law of the state in which it sits when there is no applicable federal statute governing personal jurisdiction. District courts in California may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant to the extent permitted by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.
“The party seeking to invoke jurisdiction has the burden of establishing that jurisdiction exists. Here, Plaintiffs offer no argument that the Court has general personal jurisdiction over Defendants and allege no facts to establish that Defendants’ contacts with California are ‘substantial’ or ‘continuous and systematic.’ Plaintiffs allege only that Ms. Badejo is a Nigerian-born blogger who resides in the United Kingdom; that she operates an online news site, Defendant Gio TV, with an emphasis on Nigeria; and that this online news site is accessible on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
“Their allegations are insufficient to establish general personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Plaintiffs thus fail to show that Defendants directly targeted California with their conduct and therefore cannot satisfy the express-aiming element of the Calder effects test, which is required to establish the first element of the Ninth Circuit’s test for the exercise of personal jurisdiction.
“Accordingly, the Court finds that it lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Conclusion – Because the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants, Plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment is denied, and the case is dismissed. The Clerk is directed to terminate the case. It is so ordered.”
In 2020, 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.
The blogger also alleged that a pastor from MFM in the UK paid £150,000 into the personal account of Olukoya and then went to Nigeria to meet the cleric so he could help him cover up his fraud.