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UK: Media Watchdog Sanctions Oyakhilome’s Loveworld TV Over Covid/5G Conspiracy Claim

By Published May 19, 2020

A Christian satellite TV channel owned by flamboyant Nigerian pastors has become the third broadcaster to be sanctioned by Britain’s media watchdog (Ofcom) for making potentially harmful claims about coronavirus.

Ofcom sanctioned Chris Oyakhilome's Loveworld accusing it of making a range of false claims about the pandemic, including touting a conspiracy theory it was being caused by 5G technology.

“Loveworld News featured potentially harmful statements about the coronavirus pandemic and adequate protection was not provided to viewers,” Ofcom said in a statement. “Additionally, statements were not presented with due accuracy."

The sanction comes after London Live and Uckfield FM were chided for airing similar false claims without them being sufficiently challenged.

Ofcom also criticised a broadcast sermon by Oyakhilome that questioned the motives of those looking for a Covid-19 vaccine.

Ofcom said Loveworld, would be required to show a statement of the watchdog’s findings, and that it was considering imposing further sanctions.

In a news show filmed in South Africa and broadcast in Britain on 7 April, Ofcom said Loveworld aired the 5G conspiracy and claimed there was a “global cover-up” of the issue.

The show, Loveworld News, also touted hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19, without making clear the malaria drug’s efficacy regarding coronavirus is unproven.

In a later programme the same day, Nigerian pastor and Loveworld founder Chris Oyakhilome touted a bizarre conspiracy theory linking coronavirus to a satanic plot to create a “new breed” of cyborgs.

Ofcom said those statements had “potential to cause significant harm”.

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