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Ghana investigates Christ Embassy leaders for flouting COVID-19  protocols


Oyakhilome Christ EmbassyB Ghana police Loveworld COVID-19

Leaders of the Christ Embassy Church in Ghana are currently undergoing investigation by the West African country’s police authorities for allegedly flouting COVID-19 protocols during a mass gathering.

Ghana’s Police Director of Public Affairs, Sheilla Abayie-Buckman, revealed this in a statement on the force’s verified Twitter handle on Sunday, 2 May 2021, titled, ‘Christ Embassy Youth Church’s ‘Pneumatic Night’’.

Christ Embassy, owned by Nigerian flamboyant cleric, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, allegedly put Ghana at risk of increasing COVID-19 spread after viral videos showed a non-mask wearing mass crowd at the church’s gathering last Friday in Accra dubbed ‘Pneumatic Night’.

Recall that Oyakhilome had spread conspiracy theories about the virus and the vaccines developed against the virus. His teachings earned his religious channel, Loveworld, a fine of £125,000 (N65.6m) in March from the Office of Communications in the United Kingdom for breaching the country’s broadcasting code by disseminating misinformation on COVID-19.

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Oyakhilome had also been previously seen in a recorded sermon questioning the faith of pastors preaching COVID-19 vaccines to their members.

Nevertheless, the Ghanian police statement read, “The Police is investigating alleged gathering by the youth of the Christ Embassy Church at the Fantasy Dome, Trade Fair Centre Accra on Friday, April 30, 2021 in flagrant disregard of COVID-19 protocols.

“Trending videos of the alleged gathering, dubbed ‘Pneumatic Night’ shows a non-mask wearing mass crowd, screaming, chanting and dancing to the ‘evangelism’ of non-mask wearing leaders; putting the entire country at risk of spreading COVID-19.

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“The Police did not provide security for the said event. In fact, the organisers did not give notice of the event to any Police Officer or Station. The event, advertised as a Church Service which ordinarily did not require notice under the Public Order Act, was organised at the blind side of the Police.

“Police have since Sunday morning locked up the Fantasy Dome and have started questioning leaders of the Church and Management of Fantasy Dome about the event. Any person found culpable will be arrested and duly prosecuted.

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“Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, Police Officers laid surveillance at the Christ Embassy Service Centre at UPSA where a similar programme had been advertised to carry on. That programme was held with all COVID-19 protocols being observed.

“The Police hereby remind all and sundry that actions that breach the Imposition of Restrictions Act, will be subjected to the sanctioned imposed by the law.”

At the time of this report, Worldometers reports that the West African country has recorded a total of 92,683 cases of COVID-19 with at least 779 deaths nationwide since the virus broke out late 2019.