Alleged Defamation: MFM Church Founder, Pastor Olukoya Again Loses Against Nigerian Blogger, Maureen Badejo In U.S. Court


The US Court in case numbered 20-cv-08001-HSG gave an order “denying motion for default judgment” and it dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.

A District Court in California United States has struck out a reconsideration case entered by the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr. Daniel Olukoya, against a Nigerian blogger, Maureen Badejo, over alleged defamation.

The Court in May 2021 struck out a case filed by Olukoya against the blogger over alleged defamation.

The US Court in case numbered 20-cv-08001-HSG gave an order “denying motion for default judgment” and it dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction.

According to court documents obtained by SaharaReporters, Olukoya’s case is a state law defamation case against Defendant Maureen Badejo, a foreign national “who appears to be a Nigerian citizen and resides in the United Kingdom.”

In the judgment delivered on May 6, 2021, 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 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.”

SaharaReporters on April 14, 2021, reported that a UK court had granted a perpetual injunction restraining Badejo, a Nigerian blogger who made allegations against the church, from publishing further defamatory words against or concerning the General Overseer, Olukoya, his family and the church at large.

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.

She also alleged that a pastor from MFM in the UK paid £150,000 into the personal account of Mr Olukoya and then went to Nigeria to meet the cleric so he could help him cover up his fraud.

However, Olukoya went back to court to seek reconsideration which was denied and thrown out again by the United States District Court Northern District of California

According to the court documents dated March 30, 2023, obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday, the Court “denied Plaintiffs’ motion for default judgment and dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction on May 6, 2021”.

“The Court finds this matter appropriate for disposition without oral argument and the matter is deemed submitted.

“The entry of a judgment adjudicating all of the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties in a case, any party may make motion before a Judge requesting that the Judge grant the party leave to file a motion for reconsideration of any interlocutory order on any ground set forth in Civil L.R. 7-9 (b).

“The Court’s May 6, 2021 order dismissed Plaintiffs’ case in its entirety and directed the Clerk to terminate the case.

“Court’s dismissal order was not an “interlocutory order,” so Local Rule 7-9 likely does not apply in any event. But even if it does, the motion must be denied for the reasons explained in this order,” the Court said.

“But the Court’s dismissal order ripened into entry of judgment as a matter of law 150 days later, in October 2021. … ‘[p]ursuant to Fed.R.App.P. 4(a)(7)(A)(ii) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 58(b)(2), judgment was entered as a matter of law on November 15, 2004, 150 days after the docketing of the stipulation and order’ disposing of all claims in the complaint and denying all relief to plaintiff, because ‘[t]he rules plainly provide that judgment is entered when it is set forth on a separate document or when 150 days have run,’” the Court also said.

“Because Plaintiffs filed this motion on May 4, 2022, nearly a full year after the Court issued its dismissal order and around seven months after that order ripened into a judgment, it is well too late to seek reconsideration, and Plaintiffs’ motion is DENIED. This case remains closed,” the Court added.