One of Nigeria’s most corrupt pastors Chris Oyakhilome who has become infamous for imposing gate fees during end of the year’s services and attacking journalists, has been sanctioned by British regulators over his discredited 5G conspiracy theory claims.
56-year-old Oyakhilome, also known as Pastor Chris, is the founder and president of LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, based in Lagos, Nigeria. His net worth in 2011 was between $30 million and $50 million, according to Forbes.
The British media regulator Ofcom imposed sanctions against a channel founded by Oyakhilome for airing “unsubstantiated claims” linking 5G to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ofcom said the claims in a sermon aired by Christian channel Loveworld News calling the pandemic a “global cover-up” posed serious health consequences to viewers.
The regulator said it does not oppose broadcasts airing controversial views or those challenging health authorities, but the conspiracy theory by Oyakhimole was a threat to global safety.
Ofcom investigation concluded that the sermon “questioned the need for lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus without providing context.
Loveworld was ordered by the agency to air findings from its investigation given the “serious failings” by the channel to protect its viewers during the program.
CNN said it contacted Loveworld News UK for a comment but has yet to receive one.
Nigeria’s information agency also debunked the popular pastor’s claim that the government imposed movement restrictions in its two cities to allow the installation of the new generation wireless technology, according to a local report.
Ofcom said another report during the broadcast touted hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus leaving out doubts about the efficacy of the drug and potentially harmful side effects.
“However, given the unsubstantiated claims in both these programmes were not sufficiently put into context, they risked undermining viewers’ trust in official health advice, with potentially serious consequences for public health,” Ofcom said.