Cable News Network (CNN) has responded to the threat of sanctions from the Federal Government, insisting that it stands by its report on the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020.
Okay.ng recalls that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, during a press conference on Thursday said CNN should be sanctioned for misinformation and irresponsible reporting on the incident.
He 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.
The minister alleged that CNN relied on social media video without verification to produce its report. “This should earn CNN a serious sanction for irresponsible reporting,” Mohammed said.
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Responding to this, the foreign news medium in a statement said the report was carefully and meticulously researched.
It added that the report is based on multiple witness account, adding that the army and police declined calls to respond to the investigation before the story was published.
The statement read: “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.”