UK agency fines Oyakhilome’s channel N65.6m over COVID-19 sermon
Loveworld, a religious platform operated by Nigerian Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has been licensed by the Office of Communications in the United Kingdom, also known as Ofcom. The station was fined £125,000 (N65.6 million) by Ofcom for violating the country’s broadcasting code by disseminating misleading information on COVID-19.
“Today we have fined Loveworld £125,000 for this violation of the broadcasting code,” the statement said. The broadcaster had broken our guidelines on accuracy of news and damage in its coverage of the coronavirus for the second time in a year.”
Loveworld broadcast a 29-hour program called the Global Day of Prayer on December 1, 2020, during which allegations about the COVID-19 were made. These arguments included the notion that the outbreak was ‘planned,’ that the ‘sinister’ vaccine can be used to implant ‘nanochips’ that can manipulate and damage members of the public, and the unfounded hypothesis that the virus was somehow triggered by 5G, according to the organization.
Despite previous warnings, the station was able to continue to spread such knowledge, according to the station.
“Ofcom emphasizes that legitimate debate about the official response to the coronavirus pandemic is critical to keeping public authorities accountable during a global health crisis – especially when public freedoms are curtailed and complicated policy decisions are being made,” the statement continued.
“However, the program’s misleading and potentially damaging statements were unsupported by any credible facts and went totally unchallenged. Ofcom was especially worried because this violation occurred after previous, similar breaches in 2020, during which Loveworld Limited issued a range of assurances to Ofcom on how it would improve its compliance procedures.
Oyakhilome, the pastor of the Lagos-based Christ Embassy church, has urged his followers to disregard COVID-19 protocols in the last year. He recently demanded that his representatives refrain from receiving COVID-19 vaccines.
- UK agency fines Oyakhilome’s channel N65.6m over COVID-19 sermon
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