South African satellite television company, Multichoice, has yanked Nigerian religious network, Emmanuel TV, from its bouquet of offerings effective Wednesday, 17 January.

Multichoice gave no reason for removing Emmanuel TV from its network.

A notification on DStv simply stated: “Dear viewer, please note that Emmanuel TV will exit on the 17th of January 2024. Thank you for watching.”

However, the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), which is the sponsor of Emmanuel TV, has been embroiled in a spiralling controversy over the past fortnight, following the airing of a documentary by the BBC alleging unsavoury conduct, including sexual abuse and torture in the church.

Some of the exposes touch on the purported conduct of the founder of SCOAN, the late charismatic Nigerian pastor and televangelist, Temitope Balogun Joshua, popularly known as TB Joshua.

The removal of Emmanuel TV from the platform would be a big blow to the Christian evangelical channel which has a large foreign following, especially people in Africa and Eastern Europe who depend on cable television for access to the station from their various locations.

Many of these groups frequently undertook spiritual tourism trips to TB Joshua’s Synagogue Church on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria, in the lifetime of the late evangelist.

MultiChoice, which is Africa’s leading entertainment platform, offers a wide range of products and services, including DStv, GOtv, Showmax, M-Net, SuperSport, Irdeto, and KingMakers, and gives access to over 23.5 million households in 50 markets across sub-Saharan Africa.

Emmanuel TV was founded on 8 March 2006 by TB Joshua. It debuted on Dstv and Gotv in 2015 as well as Startimes in February 2016.

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The announcement for the removal of Emmanuel TV from Dstv came right after the allegations of rape, torture and sexual abuse of his disciples by the late TB Joshua.

The BBC African Eye released a three-episode documentary relaying eye witness accounts of rape, torture and forced abortions allegedly committed by the late SCOAN founder.

In the documentary, some former members of the church narrated how TB Joshua allegedly raped, tortured and forced them to carry out abortions inside the church located in the Ikotun area of Lagos State. The BBC also purported that the man of God faked miracles within his Synagogue Church of All Nations.

The BBC in the report stated that it had uncovered a web of lies and deceptive practices that were allegedly employed by the late man of God to fabricate miracles.

Experts say some of the reasons that could lead to a station being removed from a broadcast network include violation of broadcast standards by way of featuring unhealthy programmes, failing to meet contractual obligations, engaging in illegal activities, as well as serious breaches of the law.

The SCOAN was founded by the late TB Joshua in Lagos-Nigeria in 1987. The church started with eight members, but has since become one of Nigeria’s most influential churches, attracting over 50,000 people at its weekly Sunday services before going global.

Emmanuel TV was a way for the late TB Joshua to reach far into other countries to spread the gospel. The ministry is known for its alleged miracles, charity and marital dispute resolution.

The ministry has been embroiled in succession disputes since the death of Pastor TB Joshua on 5 June 2021.