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Oyakhilomes channel fined N65m over COVID-19 sermon

Published by The Nation on Thu, 01 Apr 2021


By Alao AbiodunThe Office of Communications (Ofcom) in the United Kingdom has fined a religious channel, Loveworld, owned by popular Nigerian cleric, Chris Oyakhilome.A statement obtained by The Nation on March 31, explained that the station was fined 125,000 (N65.6m) for breaching the countrys broadcasting code by disseminating misinformation on COVID-19.According to Ofcom, it was the second time that the broadcaster breached its rules on accuracy in news, and harm in its coverage of the Coronavirus.Ofcom noted that the inaccurate and potentially harmful claimsmade during theprogrammewere unsupported by any factual evidenceandwententirelywithoutchallenge.The statement read in part, Ofcom has imposed a financial penalty of 125,000 on Loveworld Limited after a programme broadcast on its religious service Loveworld Television Network featured inaccurate and potentially harmful claims about the Coronavirus without providing adequate protection for viewers.Read Also:Pastor Oyakhilome has come againOfcom considered these breaches to be serious, repeated and reckless, warranting the imposition of a statutory sanction beyond the direction to broadcast a statement of our findings that Ofcom issued in its Decision published 15 January 2021.Ofcoms investigation found that the 29-hour programme, Global Day of Prayer, included statements claiming that the pandemic is a planned event created by the deep state for nefarious purposes, and that the vaccine is a sinister means of administering nanochips to control and harm people.Some statementsclaimedthatfraudulenttestinghad been carried out todeceive the public aboutthe existence of the virusandthe scale of the pandemic.Otherslinkedthe cause ofCovid-19tothe roll out of5G technology, the statement added.
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