UK Agency Fines Nigerian Pastor N65.6M Over Covid-19 Misinformation

 UK Agency Fines Nigerian Pastor N65.6M Over Covid-19 Misinformation

The Office of Communications in the United Kingdom (OFCOM), has fined religious channel, Loveworld, owned by Nigerian Pastor, Chris Oyakhilome the sum of £125,000 (N65.6m) for sharing misleading information on COVID-19.

The fine based on what was termed “a breach of the UK’s broadcasting code” was enforced on claims that the broadcasters had previously breached the rules on accuracy in the news.

“Today we have fined Loveworld £125,000 for this breach of the broadcasting code. This was the second time in a year that the broadcaster breached our rules on accuracy in news and harm in its coverage of the coronavirus.

“On December 1 2020, Loveworld aired a 29-hour programme called the Global Day of Prayer, during which claims were made about the COVID-19,” the agency’s statement read.

The claims include the notion that the outbreak was ‘planned’, that the vaccine can be used to implant ‘nanochips’ that can control and cause harm to members of the public. Also there was the debunked theory that the virus was caused by 5G.

Chris Oyakhilome the head pastor of the Christ Embassy church headquartered in Lagos, has in the last year encouraged his members to ignore COVID-19 protocols while propagating several conspiracy theories about the virus. Recently, he reportedly asked members of his church to refuse Covid-19 vaccines.

Patsy Nwogu

A writer focused on data journalism, health and data analytics.

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