CLAIM: On Friday 31st January 2020, several media organisations had reported a claim that Bishop David Oyedepo, President of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, was denied United States Visa. The report claimed there was a ‘melodrama’ at the Embassy on Thursday, January 30 2020. The ThisDAY Newspaper report went viral on Social Media, trending number one on Twitter in Nigeria with over 4,000 tweets and millions of impressions. The report claimed the incidence took place at the Lagos office of the United States Embassy. The story was also reported by Sahara Reporters, PM News Nigeria and posted on popular Nigerian discussion Forum Nairaland. The news report futher claimed that popular Nigerian comedian, Bovi, had his visa approved but his wife’s visa application was denied.
FACT: CDD fact checkers contacted an official of the United States Embassy in Lagos, the staffer claimed he was not authorized to speak on the matter, but stated that a formal statement was being released. CDD is now in possession of the official statement released by the Embassy in Abuja.
In a statement also posted on its verified official twitter account @USEmbassyAbuja, the Embassy’s statement on Twitter reads: ‘’ #FalseNews Alert! Be advised, the reports making the rounds about a visa being denied to Nigerian Bishop Oyedepo are false. If you have seen this manufactured item in the media, help defeat this #misinformation by communicating to everyone that it is completely false. ’’
The statement also on its website marked the ThisDAY report as FALSE. In addition, the comedian referred to in the report has also denied the claim by ThisDAY. In his official twitter handle, @OfficialBovi, the comedian noted: I was not at the embassy. Neither was my wife. Story about us is entirely false. And the use of the word “luck” or “lucky” with getting a visa is annoying.
The claim that the Nigerian preacher, Bishop David Oyedeop was denied Visa by the US Embassy in Lagos is entirely false and should be disregarded. CDD advises Nigerians to desist from promoting fake news, disinformation and misformation, which threatens our continuous existence. Join the campaign to #StopFakeNews.