Pastor Daniel Olukoya, General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM) has been ordered by a United States district court in Maryland to pay $7,320 within 30 days to Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters.
Olukoya had filed a lawsuit against Sowore in 2018 after a 2017 report of his church members in Maryland accusing him of importing religious books without paying customs duties.
The 49-paragraph lawsuit he filed bordered on defamation, defamation per se and false light. However after Olukoya failed to provide documents on UK Charity Commission’s investigation of his church, Sowore filed a motion to compel him.
Though Olukoya insisted that he has responded to the discovery requests and that the motion to compel him was therefore moot, Justice Theodore D. Chuang who ruled on the case said his response to the motion to compel contained a serious misrepresentation.
“Unfortunately, Olukoya’s response to the motion to compel contained a serious misrepresentation; he had not produced any documents relating to proceedings before the U.K. Charity Commission related to Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries International.
“The conclusion is that; for the reasons set forth above, the defendants’ motion for sanctions will be granted in part and denied in part.
“The court will enter the following sanctions against the defendants: Olukoya is prohibited from (1) making any use of any documents related to the U.K. Charity Commission that he produced to the defendants after January 2, 2021; and from (2) challenging the admissibility of these documents on any basis other than Fed. R. Evid. 401 and 403.
“Olukoya will also be required to pay the defendants’ reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in connection with his discovery failures, which total $7,320.00, within 30 days of the date of this order. Payment should be made directly to the defendants’ attorneys. These sanctions are entered against Olukoya pursuant to Rules 37(c) and 26(g).”