CLAIM: On March 8 2020, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) spotted multiple posts shared online claiming that the State Security Service (SSS) has arrested the founder of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.
According to the report, the pastor was arrested for misleading the public on claims he made over the Fifth Generation Network (5G) and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) conspiracy theory.
The controversial sermon by Pastor Chris was televised to millions online last week and shared widely on Facebook here.
Chris Oyakhilome is the founder and president of a predominantly youth church, LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, based in Lagos, with branches all over the world.
A public affairs commentator and columnist, Fredrick Nwabufo had on March 7, 2020, written an article asking the authorities when the popular will be arrested.
Nwabufo also questioned the delay in the prosecution of Oyakhilome by the Nigerian Government under the Cybercrime Act.
Having sparked many reactions, many online blogs have gone to press with the news that the fiery preacher has been arrested.
In a reaction to the claims, Nigeria’s secret Police have said that it never arrested Oyekhilome.
SSS spokesperson, Dr Peter Afunanya, dismissing the claims said: “DSS did not arrest Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, please.”
To further confirmed the story, our fact-checkers reached out to a top member of the church (Christ Embassy) who said the story is not true. ‘
The official who pleaded anonymity said: “In, fact, we just finished an online meeting with him about 15 minutes ago. Which of Pastor Chris did they arrest?’’
The SSS did not arrest Pastor Chris Oyakhilome as being rumoured online. The CDD and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) is urging members of the public to always verify every information before sharing it.