We stand by our report on Lekki killings, CNN replies FG

*Report carefully, meticulously researched, the news medium insists

Cable News Network (CNN), stood by its report on the alleged shooting of EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Toll Plaza.

The international media outfit reiterated that the news report it aired was “carefully and meticulously researched,” stressing that they cannot be intimidated.

Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had claimed that the news media exhibited crass irresponsibility and relyied on fake videos obtained through the social media to process its report.

According to the Minister, “Like everyone else, I watched the CNN report. I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going round, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.

“CNN engaged in incredible sensationalism and did a great disservice to itself and to journalism.
“In the first instance, CNN, which touted its report as an exclusive investigative report, sadly relied on the same videos that have been circulating on social media, without verification.
“This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that.
The minister also described the event of October 20, 2020 as a “massacre without bodies”, insisting that not a single body has been produced or a single family has come out to claim their family member was killed at the Lekki tollgate.

Reacting in another story: “Nigeria threatens CNN with sanctions but provides no evidence Lekki toll gate investigation is inaccurate”, CNN reaffirms and stood by its earlier report on the incident.

According to them: “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”, they stated.

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