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Thursday, April 1, 2021

British media regulator fine Oyakhilome's Loveworld Television N65.6 million over Covid-19 conspiracies


British regulator Ofcom Wednesday fined Loveworld Television Ministry owned by Nigerian pastor Chris Oyakhilome for peddling unsubstantiated claims about COVID-19.⁣

The broadcaster is to pay £125,000 (N65.6m) for broadcasting claims that were “inaccurate and potentially harmful.”⁣

The TV station was found to have breached broadcasting rules in January during its 29-hour show titled The Global Day of Prayer aired in 2020. The station was previously sanctioned in May 2020.⁣

Many of the claims were “unsupported by any factual evidence and went entirely without challenge,” the watchdog said on Wednesday.⁣

“Loveworld’s failure to put these unsubstantiated statements into context risked serious harm to its audience,” Ofcom said in a statement.⁣

“They had the potential to undermine confidence in public health measures put in place to tackle Covid-19 – at a time when cases, hospital admissions, and deaths were rising in the UK, and when people were looking for reliable information given advances in the vaccination programme.”⁣

Loveworld was accused of featuring sermons rife with claims that the virus was “planned” by the “deep state” and that the vaccination drives that trailed the pandemic were a way of injecting people with nanochips to control them.⁣

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