A United States federal court in Maryland has ordered Pastor Daniel Olukoya, General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), to pay Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, $7,320 within 30 days.
After a 2017 report from his church members in Maryland accusing him of importing religious literature without paying customs fees, Pastor Daniel Olukoya launched a lawsuit against Sowore in 2018.
He filed a 49-paragraph lawsuit alleging defamation, slander per se, and false light. Sowore filed a motion to force Olukoya to submit records related to the UK Charity Commission’s inquiry of his church after he failed to do so.
Though Olukoya claimed that he had answered to the discovery requests and that the move to compel him was thus moot, the judge who decided the case said that his response to the motion to compel contained a substantial deception.
“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).”
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