British regulator Ofcom Wednesday, 31st March, 2021 fined Loveworld Television Ministry owned by Nigerian pastor Chris Oyakhilome for peddling unsubstantiated claims about COVID-19.
“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.
In another section of the show, a presenter insisted that 5G technology was linked to the virus outbreak and claimed that 5G was poisoning cells in the human body.
“With the classification of a weapon, 5G technology is very dangerous. When it comes into contact with a human body it can provide some poisons to the cells … This shows that what’s killing people, it’s not coronavirus, but 5G,” a presenter on the programme said.
In January, the broadcast regulator said it is fundamental to start “legitimate debate about the official response to the coronavirus pandemic” to hold “public authorities to account during a global health crisis – particularly when public freedoms are curtailed and complex policy decisions are taken.”
It, however, said Loveworld’s failure to put these unsubstantiated statements into context risked serious harm to its audience.
Oyakhilome, the founder of Believers LoveWorld Assembly and the LoveWorld TV is quite popular in Nigeria, where his claims about coronavirus virus and 5G gained social media traction in April 2020.