I’m shocked MFM, pastors are after me - Social Media Influencer, Funke Ashekun

Ashekun and Olukoya

Left: Funke Ashekun Right: MFM General Overseer, Dr Daniel Olukoya

By Paul Dada

A  Nigerian social media influencer and YouTuber, Mrs. Funke Ashekun who is known for speaking out against alleged sexual assault of women in religious circles, has expressed the surprise that Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministry in the United States of America and some of its pastors have dragged her to court for defamation.

Ashekun, based in Maryland, USA, has used her Facebook page and Youtube channel to call out an unidentified pastor she calls ‘Pharoah’ whom she has accused of sexually molesting ladies.

She also calls the church, “Pharaoh’s church”. Ashekun is a former member of the foremost Pentecostal denomination. The church was founded by the popular Dr Daniel Olukoya who is its General Overseer.

But in a video, Ashekun said MFM and three of its US-based pastors sued her, accusing her of defaming their General Overseer.

When P.M. News contacted Ashekun, she declined to give details of the suit as she said the matter was sub judice.  But P.M. News in its investigations, has been able to confirm that Adekunle Adekola, a pastor and MFM are plaintiffs in the suit.

In the video, Ashekun said: “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 Miracles and Ministries, America. I am also able to confirm to you that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit are… I don’t know them.  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 recognize 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.

“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.

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“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”.

Ashekun said she was shocked that they sued her though she had never mentioned the name of any church or General Overseer in her videos.

She said, “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 it 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.

“I am bewildered. It is shocking that these three people that I mentioned their names, and MFM Church, America could sue me, that I am talking about their General Overseer. How on earth would you reduce your General Overseer, a man of God that is known globally, highly respected, highly honoured, somebody talking about deliverance, somebody preaching about holiness that people respect so much? How can you reduce him to the level of a Pharaoh? It is shocking.

“How can I be talking about pastors sexually molesting children, young girls, women, vulnerable women? How can I be talking about pastors, and even talk about the entertainment industry, even in the medical field?  I’ve talked about so many Pharaohs. How can I be talking about people oppressing, making people cry in the society, sexually assaulting women, deception, corruption, torture, terror and then you attach this to your General Overseer? It’s a shame. It is shocking. It is very ridiculous. Are you kidding me? Are you saying your General Overseer is guilty of all these things?

“Because I have been to many churches. I am talking about my experiences. By the grace of God, I am 53 years old. My 53 years on earth, I’ve always been a Christian to the glory of God. I am talking about my experiences in the household of faith, about wolves that have come to destroy, to kill.  Of all the churches that I have ever attended, you can come out and say, I am talking about your General Overseer. What a shame! How could you reduce your General Overseer, a supposed man of God? How could you reduce him to the level of a Pharaoh? Are you saying he is guilty of all I am talking about?

“There are churches I have spent more years than I even spent in your church. Yes, I was a member of your church.  But I have attended so many churches. I have been a church girl all my life.  Why is Mountain of Fire Miracles and Ministry, taking me to court? Grace Ugeh, you as a woman… I am talking about women being abused in churches. I am talking about women being fingered under the pretext of prayer and deliverance. Grace Ugeh, I am addressing you as a woman. I am talking about your gender being molested by criminals on our pulpits. And you have the audacity to sue me?”

P.M. News contacted MFM through email, called and sent a text message to the phone number of an Assistant General Overseer of the denomination for details and reactions but got no response.


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