Court Remands Blogger Over Alleged Cyberbullying, Libel Against MFM’s G.O, Olukoya

MFM General Overseer, Pastor Daniel K. Olukoya

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa of a Lagos Federal High Court, on Monday, ordered ordered the remand of a blogger and former member of Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries (MFM),   Ayotunde Richards, at Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Lagos, till March 21, when his bail application shall be heard and determined.

Also ordered to be remanded was one Adewale Ajimisogbe, who was charged alongside the blogger in a 12 count-charge of conspiracy, cyber-bullying and libel.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa ordered the remand of the two defendants after they both pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

While the two defendants were jointly charged on three counts charges of conspiracy to commit felony to wit: cyberstalking,libel and and defamation. The blogger, Ayotunde Richard, was slammed with nine counts of defamation. 

The prosecutor, Barrister Nosa Waltson Uhumwangho, while arraigning the two defendants told the court that the dou committed the alleged offences between December 2023 and February 2024.

The prosecutor told the court that the defendants through a blogging platform named ‘Postreporters’, a social network, made a report with the caption: “He is a criminal and behind all illegal acts – Ex-MFM Church singer sues founder, Daniel Olukoya, others, seeks N15.5Billion in damages over illegal detention, breach of human rights”.

The prosecutor also alleged that the blogger also wrote in another social media platform, “Moment of Truth” a social network with captioned: “Daniel Olukoya the Police Pastor’ “Mountain of Police and Alagbon Ministries”, “A powerless clergy who depends on Ayoleyi Tawose in order to deal with his perceived enemies”.

The blogger was also alleged have written on the “Moment of the truth” his social platform, that the MFM General Overseer, lies to his former RCCG Pastor to flush him out of the church and that “He doesn’t behave like a Pastor at all”. And many others.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the two defendants contravened Sections 27 and 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(i) of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, Etc) Act, 2015. And punishable under the same Act.

The two defendants denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked for a trial date, while equally urged the court to remand them in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), pending when their bail applications will be heard and determined.

The defendants’ lawyer, Sesi Hundeyin, however, pleaded with the court for a short date to bring his clients’ bail applications.

He also pleaded with the court to remand his client in the police custody, till when their bail applications will be heard. But the request was vehemently opposed by the prosecutor, in the ground that the police remand facility is over stretched.

Consequently, Justice Lewis-Allagoa, while adjourned to March 21, for hearing of the bail application, made an order remanding the defendants in NCoS’ custody.

Parts of the charges against the defendants read:that you, Adewale Ajimisogbe ‘m’ and Ayotunde Richard ‘m’, between the month of December 2023 and February 2024, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of he Honourable Court, did conspire together to commit felony to wit: cyberstalking and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27; 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(i)  of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, Etc) Act, 2015. 

That you, Adewale Ajimisogbe ‘m’ and Ayotunde Richard ‘m’, on the 7th day of February, 2024 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court, did Knowingly cause the transmission of a communication via blogging platform known as “Postreporters’ a social network, with the following caption: “He is a criminal and behind all illegal acts – Ex-MFM Church singer sues founder, Daniel Olukoya, others, seeks N15.5Billion in damages over illegal detention, breach of human rights” which is grossly offensive, false and for the purpose of causing annoyance, insult, injury, criminal intimidation or needless anxiety to the prejudice of Dr. Daniel Olukoya and the Incorporated Trustees of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(i) of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, ETC) Act, 2015. 

That you, Ayotunde Richards ‘m’, on or about the month of December 2023, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court, did intentional sent a defamatory message or other matter of communication via blogging platform known as “Moment of Truth” a social network captioned: “Olukoya told lies to my former RCCG Pastor to flush me out of the church. He doesn’t behave like a Pastor at all”, which is grossly offensive, false and for the purpose of causing annoyance, insult, injury, criminal intimidation or needless anxiety to the prejudice of Dr. Daniel Olukoya and the Incorporated Trustees of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries, a message you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(i) of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, ETC) Act, 2015. 

That you, Ayotunde Richards ‘m’, sometimes in February 2024, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court, did intentional sent a defamatory message or other matter by means of your facebook handle: “Ayotunde Richard” captioned: “you can continue to pray for your powerless GO that the Police will continued to he p him carry out more illegal arrests, | will rather ask GOD for better things” which is grossly offensive, false and for the purpose of causing annoyance, insult, injury, Criminal intimidation or needless anxiety to the prejudice of Dr. Daniel Olukoya and the incorporated Trustees of the Mountain of Fire’and Miracle Ministries, a message you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(1) of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, ETC) Act, 2015. 

That you, Ayotunde Richards ‘m’, sometimes in February 2024, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court, did intentional sent a defamatory message or other matter by means of your facebook handle: “Ayotunde Richard” captioned: “This Church practically worships the Police. What are they looking for again in my house?” which is grossly offensive, false and for the purpose of causing annoyance, insult, injury, criminal intimidation or needless anxiety to the prejudice of Dr. Daniel Olukoya and the Incorporated Trustees of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries, a message you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(i) of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, Etc) Act, 2015.”