CNN has reacted to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s threat to sanction them over their investigation of the Lekki toll Gate shooting.
Cable News Network (CNN) yesterday confirmed that the Lekki massacre happened on the 20th of October 2020, as security agents shot at peaceful #EndSARS protesters.
Protesters had gathered to call for an end of police brutality and abuse of their human rights by security agents.
After the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll gate on the 20th of October 2020, there as been mixed reportage as to what actually happened on that fateful day.
CNN has now released its findings from an independent investigation carried out on the incident, as they shared footage of what appears to be soldiers shooting at the #EndSARS protesters.
CNN in its investigation spoke with a man, Elisha Sunday, whose brother, Victor, was killed during the October 20th shooting incident.
The media house also spoke with some of the protesters who were at the scene when the shooting occurred. They claim the soldiers indeed fired shots at them.
The media house also tracked the bullets shells seen at the Toll Gate and the companies that supplied the Nigerian Army Weapons since 2005.
Reacting to the report by CNN at a press conference earlier today, Lai Mohammed who spoke on behalf of the Federal government, said the report was one-dimensional and lacked balance.
Describing the report as “irresponsible journalism”, he alleged that CNN relied on social media videos without verification to produce its report.
“This should earn CNN a serious sanction for irresponsible reporting,” Mohammed said.
Reacting today in another story titled, ‘Nigeria threatens CNN with sanctions but provides no evidence Lekki toll gate investigation is inaccurate’, the cable news network said it stand by its earlier report on the Lekki incident.
“Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it,” CNN stated.
It added, “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.”