UK Broadcast Regulator Fines Chris Oyakhilome’s Loveworld Channel N65m For Airing COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories
The new development comes nine months after Ofcom sanctioned the same television channel following the broadcast of Pastor Oyakhilome’s controversial claims on 5G network, coronavirus pandemic and vaccination.
In the April 2020 broadcast, founder of Loveworld Ministries claimed that the “outbreak of Coronavirus is part of the plan for installation of 5G technology and creation of a new world order.”
He stated that the panic created by the disease is part of an ‘evil scheme’ to vaccinate everyone against their wishes.
In latest development, Ofcom in a March 31 statement on its official website explained that the station was fined £125,000 (N65.6m) for breaching the country’s 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 claims made during the programme were unsupported by any factual evidence and went entirely without any challenge.
The statement partly reads;
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.
Ofcom 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.
Ofcom’s 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 statement claimed that fraudulent testing had been carried out to deceive the public about the existence of the virus and the scale of the pandemic. Others linked the cause of Covid-19 to the roll out of 5G technology.
The new update comes few days after Pastor Oyakhilome condemned church leaders for endorsing COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging followers to receive the jab.