Lekki Tollgate Shooting: ‘Our Report Was Meticulously Researched’: CNN Replies FG
US-based news channel, CNN has said it stands by its investigation which uncovered evidence that Nigerian army opened fire on unarmed #EndSARS protestors on October 20 saying “our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched”.
CNN stated this in reaction to condemnation of the report by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Thursday, November 19.
Mohammed earlier today during a press conference said the international publication should be sanctioned for practicing “irresponsible journalism” by relying on “unverified” videos sourced from social media.
He further dismissed the investigative report, which showed that bullet casings found at the #EndSARS protest ground at Lekki tollgate were lives ones that were purchased from Serbia by Nigerian Army, by saying it’s “fake news” and “misinformation“.
The minister repeatedly denied that the military used live rounds against protesters, just as Nigerian Army has been saying since the fateful incident.
Like everyone else, I watched the CNN report. I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going around, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.
This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that.
A spokesperson of the international media, has however, said;
CNN stands by its investigation.Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it.
The report was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses, and photos and video obtained and geolocated by CNN. It painted a picture of how members of the Nigerian army and the police shot at the crowd, killing at least one person and wounding dozens more.
CNN verified photos and videos acquired from multiple eyewitnesses and protesters using timestamps and other data from the video files. Video footage shows soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses established that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.
Prior to publishing the report, CNN tried multiple times to elicit comment from the Nigerian army and police. A Lagos State police spokesman declined to comment because of an ongoing investigation. While a statement from the Lagos State government said that there would be no comment while a judicial tribunal was underway.