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US court fines Nigerian blogger $50,000 for defaming MFM overseer

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A Baltimore County Circuit Court in the United States of America presided over by Theresa Adams, has slammed a record $50,000 damages on a US-based Nigerian blogger, Funke Ashekun, for defaming the General Overseer, Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Dr Daniel Olukoya.

A statement on Thursday by Olukoya’s media aide, Collins Edomaruse, said the jury found that the postings of Ashekun defamed the MFM and portrayed its pastors in a false light.

Delivering its judgment in the matter with Case Number: C-03-CV-22-004424, the court returned a unanimous verdict in favour of MFM USA and its three pastors, Grace Ugeh, Kunle Ladipo and Adekunle Adekola.

According to the MFM, Ashekun, who recently relocated to the United States, “has been on social media, spreading all manners of falsehoods against the MFM Church and its General Overseer with the sole purpose of tarnishing and damaging the reputation of the respected man of God and that of his ministry.”

Reacting to the lawsuit filed against her, the YouTuber, in a video she posted to her YouTube channel on November 28, 2023, said MFM and three of its US-based pastors filed a suit against her and accused her of defaming their General Overseer.

“I am now able to confirm to you and to formally do so now that I, Funke Ashekun, have been sued by a church in America. I want you to know I’ve been sued by a church in America. I’m also able to confirm that the name of the church that has taken me to court in America is Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, America.

“I am also able to confirm to you that I don’t know them, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Imagine, people that I don’t know are suing me. What an Irony!

“The first one is Adekunle Adekola. He’s a pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Rockville, Maryland. The second person is Kunle Ladipo. He is also a pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries, Bowie, Maryland. And the third person is a woman, I am surprised. She is Grace Ugeh. She is also a pastor in Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries in California; one of their branches.

“Somebody even came from California to sue me in Maryland. These are people I don’t know. I have never been to their church here in America since we relocated. I saw two of them in court recently. But I don’t think I will still recognise them if I meet two of them on the way. I am surprised how a woman will come after me for speaking against sexual assault on women,” she said.

Ashekun added that she was shocked about the lawsuit, stressing that she did not mention the name of any church or pastor in particular in any of her posts.

“I am talking about Pharaohs of our country. People that are supposed to be men of God; that people call men of God and reverence. I am talking about things going on in our churches, that there are sexual abuses going on in our churches. Women are becoming depressed. Some of them are becoming suicidal. They are being sexually molested seriously. And then a woman would come after me and take me to court for talking.

“I, also want to let you know that I, Olufunke Ashekun, am the respondent in this lawsuit in my personal capacity and to the exclusion of no other. These three people, they came after me. In fact, they came with two different lawsuits.

“One thing still shocks me, still baffles me that since I have started this programme, I have never mentioned the name of any church. When I talk about Pharaohs destroying women, destroying men, torturing, oppressing, sexually molesting women, young girls, even in the toilet, in church, inside what is supposed to be a sanctuary of God. Since I’ve started, I’ve never mentioned any church doing that.

“I’ve never mentioned the name of any pastor or any General Overseer. I have been talking about Pharaohs. Pharaoh is a Biblical name. We all know Pharaoh to be an oppressor of God’s children. It is a satirical name that I formed for this programme to pass all my messages because we need to speak out. We can’t keep quiet and allow these people to go on in our society,” she said.

Reacting to the judgment, the MFM lead counsel, Gilbert Garcia, said the “Church was gratified that the jury found in favor and vindicated our position,” according to the statement.

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1,301 pilgrims died during 2024 hajj, says Saudi Arabia

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1,301 pilgrims died during 2024 hajj, says Saudi Arabia

In an interview on Sunday, Fahd Al-Jalajel, the country’s minister of health, said 83 per cent of the 1,301 fatalities were unauthorised pilgrims who walked long distances in high temperatures to perform the hajj rituals.

The minister said 95 pilgrims were being treated in hospitals, some of whom were airlifted for treatment in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

“1,301 people died during the #Hajj1445 season. May Allah have mercy on them all, 83% of them are not authorised for Hajj, who walked long distances under the sun, without shelter or rest, including a number of elderly people and people with chronic diseases,” he said.

On May 26, the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) said Tawakaltu Alako, a Nigerian pilgrim, slumped and died in her hotel at Makkah.

Following this incident, NAHCON has reported many more deaths in this year’s hajj.

Abubakar Adamu, head of Nigeria’s medical team for 2024 Hajj, had told journalists on July 17, that one of the Nigerian pilgrims died due to heatstroke while on his way to Jamrate to perform the ritual of throwing stones.

Temperatures in Mecca this year climbed as high as 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit).

Mohammed Al-Abdulaali, a spokesperson for the Saudi health ministry, had said that more than 2,760 pilgrims suffered from sunstroke and heat stress on July 16 alone.

Source: The Cable

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No spirit or man can divide Nigeria – Olumba Olumba warns

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The founder and spiritual head of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, has said that Nigeria

The founder and spiritual head of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, has said that Nigeria will never be divided.

He stated this at the end of the weeklong anniversary celebration of the Men’s Fellowship, an arm of his spiritual organization.

He warned those pushing for the division of the country to stop, adding that no force will succeed in dismembering the country.

The clergyman insisted that Nigeria is in the abode of God Almighty.

He insisted that God is already perfecting his will for Nigeria.

According to him “Let all spirits, angels, and men, even those in political authority, know that Nigeria is the abode of God Almighty.

“No spirit, angel, or man can divide this country.

“All those agitating for division or fanning the embers of disunity in this country should be aware that this is the time when God is perfecting His will for the country.”

He disclosed that a lasting solution to the issues of disunity facing the country is in God’s plan.

Speaking further, he cautioned the country’s leaders to be selfless, avoid issues that can cause disunity, and promote love and forgiveness among themselves.

 

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Oyakhilome reacts as fire guts Christ Embassy headquarters

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Chris Oyakhilome, president and founder of Loveworld incorporated, better known as Christ Embassy, has reacted to the fire incident at the Oregun, Lagos branch of the church.

Fire razed the white building in Ikeja on Sunday morning.

Thick black smoke was still billowing from the edifice at the time of reporting.

Personnel of the Lagos fire and rescue service were on the scene to put out the fire.

Speaking in one of the church services, Oyakhilome said the inferno presents an opportunity for the church to build a bigger and more befitting edifice.

“Some years ago, I wished I had a better design for the affected place. But then, it would have required that we take off the roof. But now, I’ve got the opportunity to have something better there,” he said.

“When something like this happens, what does God think? God just gives us an opportunity to do something about it. What are we going to do? The house is gone, we clear out the place and build a better one. A more beautiful one. That is what we are going to do.

“Let the devil lick his wounds. We must look at life from the spiritual. This is not what we call an accident. Everything that happens in our lives is all planned.”

The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service (LSFRS) said the fire has been put under control.

In a statement issued by Margaret Adeseye, director of the service, LSFRS also blamed the church for the spread of the fire.

NAN reports Adeseye as saying that the fire escalated because the church’s fire service thought they could handle the situation without recourse to the Lagos fire service.

She said the cause of the fire will be made public after a proper investigation has been done.

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Church to vacate premises after attack on Muslim family in Oyo

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A Christ Apostolic Church branch has been sanctioned by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Oyo State after bloody attacks on a

A Christ Apostolic Church branch has been sanctioned by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Oyo State after bloody attacks on a Muslim family in Iseyin.

Speaking with Daily Trust on Sunday, Apostle Sunday Ogundairo, CAN chairman in Iseyin Local Government Area said the Christian body has gone pleading with the Muslim leaders in the town.

He added that the pastor has been sanctioned by CAN.

“I have gone round pleading with the Islamic scholars in Iseyinland. They should please soft-pedal their annoyance. It is glaring that the man (pastor) was guilty. CAN in Iseyin has also sanctioned the pastor and ordered him to look for another place to locate his church.

“The case started since last year and we have always settled the issue before the one which happened on Sunday”, he said.

Apostle Ogundairo assured that talks are ongoing with the Muslim community to ensure that peace is maintained.

A widely circulating video had indicted the pastor and some congregation of Christ Apostolic Church, Oke Imuse, Iseyin of battering Mr. Sulaimon AbdulAzeez and his two wives who were in purdah.

The victims narrated how the pastor had hired soldiers to unleash havoc on them for allegedly slaughtering ram while facing their church.

According to AbdulAzeez, his heavily pregnant wife was severely beaten and dragged to the church premises by the pastor while his other wife’s head was smashed.

The attacks which occurred on Eid day have been condemned by the Muslim Rights Council (MURIC), CAN and other religious groups.

According to MURIC’s Executive Director, Prof. Isiaq Akintola, there has been a misunderstanding between the Muslim family and the church over noise pollution, a case which he said the king of Iseyin had to intervene.

 

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If not for God, Nigeria would have collapsed under Tinubu — Adebisi

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Prophet Peter Abiola Adebisi is the President of Christ Miracle Church Mission (CMCM Worldwide), a fast-growing church with a network of

Prophet Peter Abiola Adebisi is the President of Christ Miracle Church Mission (CMCM Worldwide), a fast-growing church with a network of branches. He is also the President of the Champion of Fire Bible Institute that is preparing and equipping the saints for the expansion of the work of God. His flair for football made him sponsor a football club for the youth to exhibit their talents. He is the Chairman of Fire Football Club. He spoke with AYOYINKA JEGEDE on the 25 years of stable democracy in the country.

Twenty five years of stable democracy in Nigeria, what’s your view?
Any journey starting with God will end well. I can say now clearly to the Glory of God that no matter the race, no matter who you are, everybody is now coming to a point of realising that there is God because they can see His finger in all things that are happening which beats science records and cannot be defined.

Any journey that starts with God will surely end well. The problem is the inability of the people to come to the realisation of knowing God and that’s why they kill other people in the name of rituals, faking and deceiving people. Now that the hearts of people are opening towards God, I can say boldly that by the special Grace of God, we are going to end well. Nigeria will end well because God said it and the spoken word of God is very special because it can never go in vain. God told me Nigeria is number one in Africa and that Nigeria is a force to be reckoned with.

No matter what is happening presently in this country, God told me, Nigeria is number one in Africa, in agriculture, financially and in all things, and we are going to be number one. We shall become a hub center commercially. God has a very great plan for Nigeria, and we are going to end well no matter what is happening presently in the country.

There has been clamour for restructuring, what is your take on this?
Restructuring is good, but the number one utmost thing that we must do is to love one another. To have one nation and to ensure unity in our diversity, there must be love for another. When we have love for one another, we will shun tribalism and exist as one nation. The truth is that without love, restructuring this nation will not work.

We should unite ourselves in love, imagine when Nigeria is playing football, we come together to watch, just as football unites us together.

Moreover, we should love and pray for this country above selfish interests, tribes, and sentiments. Americans will always say God bless America, let’s speak positivity into his country, I can assure you all will be well.

Let’s stop cursing this nation Nigeria because of frustration and hatred. If we allow love to unite us, restructuring will work easily. Let’s harmonise and come together in love for a greater purpose, and let’s pursue a common goal.

What’s the way forward? What are the institutions that you think we need to strengthen?

Majorly, love is the key. We can achieve a lot with love. Also, we should shun tribalism and have a common goal to move Nigeria forward. When we strengthen all our institutions in love, everything will go on smoothly.

Are we truly democratized?
Yes, 25 years of stable democracy without military intervention is a testimony, if somebody had said so 25 years ago that Nigeria can still be practising stable democracy, one would have said no. Let me note that there is a future for us and we shall all get there in Jesus Christ mighty Name.

Myriads of problems bedeviling the country, many are of the opinion that poor leadership has been and is still our problem, what’s your view on this?Political leaders? What about the voters, it takes two to tango; it is worrisome that people collect money from politicians before they vote in this country. Voters sell their consciences at will for a pittance. Our problem starts when we collect money from people to vote, believe me, the best candidate will emerge when we stop selling our conscience. If politicians spend billions of naira before they get into power, be very sure they will want to get it back by all means. We, the followers, the masses too should work on ourselves before pointing accusing fingers.

What’s your advice?
25 years of stable democracy, I am very happy this is happening while I’m alive. There is a brighter future for us all in this country. God told me Nigeria is number one in Africa and I believe in the word of God more than anything. Let’s all be rest assured, believing the word of God.

How would you assess President Tinubu-led administration, one year in office?
We give glory to God, if God was not with the President, Nigeria would have collapsed. There is a lot of evidence to show that God is with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Since God is with him, surprisingly you will see that things will turn around for good.

How has the church, Christ Miracles Church Mission (CMCM) helped in strengthening democracy?
By God’s Grace here at the Christ Miracles Church Mission (CMCM), we have been preaching, and we shall continue to preach the raw undiluted word of God, which is the truth. We tell members to live Godly and love everyone no matter the tribe, race, sex, or religion.

We teach people to be selfless and respect others, we tell people to obey laws and place the country’s Interest above selfish ambitions.

In respect of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), CMCM gives scholarships to indigent students, and cash gifts to widows, the needy, and the less privileged no matter their religious affiliation.

In a bid to help youths fulfill God’s purpose for their destiny and to snatch them from myriads of ills bedeviling them in the present world, Christ Miracles Church Mission (CMCM) worldwide has given scholarships to over 100 indigent students who are members and non-members of the church.

We teach youths, young adults, and teenagers on developmental teachings, health seminars, skills acquisitions, career counseling, and mentoring as well as ICT training which featured among other things; how to stream church programmes , how to snap and edit pictures for social media page, live coverage of church services using phones and video camera, how to bring audio into live stream for online members, how to use Vmix to mix video images and also to display Bible verses, project information, and announcements, how to set up a Web Page as well as digital Evangelism

To ameliorate the sufferings of the masses likewise, CMCM constantly gives food items such as rice, beans, garri, yams, and other food gifts every service day in the church. We teach youths how to discover God’s purpose for their lives and work in it. It is a means of evangelism and mainly to capture the youths, teenagers, and young adults for Christ.

-TheNation

 

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How Nigerians, foreigners celebrated TB Joshua

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How Nigerians, foreigners celebrated TB Joshua

The late leader of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Temitope Joshua, touched many lives while he was alive.

Aside from his generosity, the late cleric was known for his knack for prayer, perseverance, self-discipline, and dedication to the things of God. It is almost an understatement to say that he drew people to God.

Loved by many, and even in death, they still talk about him in the present. Little wonder, during the third anniversary of his glorious departure from the earth on June 5, 2021, all-night praise and worship were held in his honour at the SCOAN headquarters, Lagos. The event attracted people from all over the world.

Speaking during the event to honour the late televangelist, his daughter Promise, said, “I’m his favorite daughter, but he loved all of us equally. Yes, indeed. At the very core, Prophet TB Joshua’s life is marked by a virtuous commitment to raising soldiers of Christ, not just locally, but also globally.”

Joshua, who would have been 61 on June 5, attracted many foreigners to the headquarters of the church in Ikotun-Egbe, a Lagos suburb.

The SCOAN host community will continue to remember the late cleric for putting the community on a world map.

Promise disclosed that her father, Joshua, superintendent of a church of all seasons, “A ministry where satanic cages and demonic bondages are broken. Even to the shock and the admiration of even the unbelievers.

Read Also: Tinubu congratulates South Afica’s Ramaphosa on re-election
“A ministry that has stood the test of time, that continues to stand the test of time, and that will continue to stand the test of time to the glory of God. Yes. But Prophet TB Joshua was not just this global Christian leader and fatherly covering to so many people all around the world.”

Preaching love, she urged the church to celebrate the values that her father stood for which was love. “Love that sees beyond hatred. That is, when you are hated, you should love. Love that sees beyond intimidation”.

A South African nationalist and former South African Football Association (SAFA) President, Dr. Kirstan Nematandam, who flew into Nigeria to partake in the solemn night ceremony, described the all-night praise and worship event as “A spiritual high watershed, and a great moment in all continents of the world to thank God for the grace of T.B. Joshua on earth in His ineffable love for mankind and His creation.

He described T.B. Joshua as a great man of God whose life was Christ-like, living the word and practicing the word. “He was the light shining in the darkness, the most humble man you could ever come across who touched the lives of millions, preaching the Word with power and with an extraordinary philanthropy across the universe,” he said.

Notwithstanding the simultaneous happening of the event in several nations, many still flew into Ikotun-Egbe SCOAN’s headquarters.

The serenation of the late cleric lit up the Ikotun-Egbe SCOAN’s headquarters with international visitors from many African countries, America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, filling the cathedral to the brim.

The atmosphere was ecclesiastically electrifying as people from diverse languages from all walks of life spoke glowingly of the transformational power of God in their lives through their encounters with T.B. Joshua.

A leading Pastor from Argentina who came to Ikotun Egbe for the event, Pastor Robert Acosta said: “The men of God who impacted lives and transformed generations under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit never die. The Bible says, ‘Their works with them continue’.

“The teachings, the example, the impartation continue to live on in our hearts and our lives. Prophet T.B. Joshua, his life, example, and ministry, have been a gift from God to the whole world but in a particular way to my life, my wife and family, and to our church and congregation.

“He was our pastor, our friend, for five years until he passed on to glory, and we continue to live with the legacy he had left us. The impartation we had received from the Holy Spirit through the life of the man of God, continues to bring healing to the sick, continues to raise cripples, and perform amazing miracles and deliverances; not only should we but we want to honor God for the life of the man of God, that is why we come to Nigeria to exalt God and I believe that just as in the days of Elisha, when he had already departed, there was anointing in his bones, I believe there is still much anointing to continue resurrecting lives and ministries, not by a man that had passed on to glory, but by the Spirit of God that continues to operate.

“We have come to honour God with joyful activities for this great man of God.

“He has been for me a father in the Lord, a friend, a pastor, and has been an honour from heaven to have walked and shared time with him, his teachings, his advice, and his prayers have transformed our lives.

“Even today, in our radios, discipleships, and meetings his teachings are still alive…

God has done it through the man of God”.

Also paying glowing tributes to the late SCOAN leader, a leading Brazilian cleric, Pastor Sandro Gomes dos Santos, who was happy to be in Nigeria again said: “I am here to celebrate the birthday of Prophet T.B. Joshua, a unique man, a unique prophet, a great man of God and his legacy remains. It is ageless and cannot be forgotten. The good works he did here on earth are wonderful and cannot be forgotten.

“Prophet T.B. Joshua impacted my life not only with his ministry of miracles, signs, and wonders but with his love for the Word. When he spoke the Word it went straight into my heart and changed the way I was and the way I thought. His teaching on offence and forgiveness completely changed my heart. With him, I learned how to let go of offence and the importance of having a pure heart.

“He exemplified everything he taught; his life was a life of excellence. Prophet T.B. Joshua’s legacy is beyond time and will remain forever. He is a special man of God, there is no other like him. The opportunity to be here on this anniversary for me is a gift from God.

“I come to honour the life of Prophet T.B. Joshua and his legacy. As the Bible says: He who honours a prophet receives a prophet’s reward. This is an opportunity given by God, not man. God in His infinite grace allowed me to come and showed me that

“His anointing and power continue here in this ministry through Pastor Evelyn Joshua. There is a fresh anointing, something new and extraordinary. The wonders of God continue to work here at SCOAN. God has done great and extraordinary things through Prophet T.B. Joshua and that mantle continues to rest upon Pastor Evelyn Joshua, just as it did with Elisha. I am so grateful to be here to celebrate the life and legacy of Prophet T.B. Joshua”.

Mr. Segun Olanipekun, one of the coordinators of the church, who was full of excitement, disclosed to the vivacious crowd present at the event that the last three years had been of joyful activities and the ministry had greatly expanded. “Some of the programmes that I can remember that have taken place under Pastor Evelyn Joshua’s leadership are: The church was reopened after about two years of lockdown, we had a three-day revival on the prayer mountain,

Akure branch was reopened, frequent weekly charity work in the church,

Partners, revival, crusade, and charity meetings in South Africa, Ghana, Lusaka, Zambia, Madrid in Spain, Kenya, France, Germany, UK, USA, Canada and Nigeria.

“The tempo for these activities has been more reinforced. The church has remained in the precious arms of the Lord. It has been a wonderful three years of God’s tremendous grace for the church.

“Synagogue Church Of All Nations SCOAN today is the exemplification of the biblical word of Prophet Isaiah: the mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceedingly fine.”

Source: The Nation

 

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