The Cable News Network (CNN) has said it stood by its report that the Nigerian military used live bullets on #EndSARS demonstrators at the Lekki Tollgate, killing at least one with dozens others wounded.
Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday rubbished CNN’s story saying the station should be punished for unverified stories.
A company spokesperson said, “CNN stands by its investigation.”
The spokesperson said via email, “Our reporting has been carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it.”
The study was based on the testimony of hundreds of witnesses, and on the images and videos acquired and located by CNN. It painted a picture of how Nigerian army and police officers fired at the crowd, killing at least one person and injuring dozens more.
“Using timestamps and other data from video files, CNN verified photos and videos acquired from several eyewitnesses and protesters. Video footage shows troops who appear to be firing in the direction of demonstrators. And eyewitness reports established that a second round of shooting occurred later in the evening after the army withdrew,” it said.
CNN said it tried several times to obtain statements from the Nigerian army and police before publishing the story, adding that a spokesman for the Lagos State police refused to comment because of an ongoing investigation.
It said a statement from the state government of Lagos confirmed that although a judicial tribunal was underway, there would be no comment.
“Lai Mohammed said on Thursday: “I watched yesterday’s CNN story and I have to tell you that it confirms the disinformation that has been going around and is a blatantly irresponsible and bad piece of reportable international media journalistic work.”
“CNN touted its article as an exclusive investigative report, but unfortunately relied on the same videos without verification that were circulating on social media. This is really serious and for that, CNN should be sanctioned.”
” CNN said the videos received by them ,Without saying where is gotten from or if it is authenticated “. Were CNN reporters and cameramen at Lekki Toll Gate? The answer is no.
“On what basis were they reporting? Relied and presented it as CNN’s investigation on 2nd or 3rd hand information. why didn’t CNN balance its story by showing the convincing testimony of Brig. Gen. Taiwo before the Judicial Panel of Inquiry ?.
“An international media agency or other serious news organization should not expect this one-sided reporting. If CNN had done its investigation properly, it would have known how fake news and misinformation used were trending during the #EndSARS crisis.”
“The minister referred to a report by Damilola Banjo of the BBC, who was at the Lekki Toll Gate and who confirmed in his report that “soldiers were also at the Lekki Toll Gate, but sporadically fired into the air, not at the demonstrators.
But CNN, which was not on the scene, said otherwise.
‘If CNN had carried out its investigation properly, during the EndSARS crisis, it would have known how false news and misinformation were trending,’ Mohammed said.
CNN conveniently overlooked in airing its so-called investigative report that it tweeted, from its checked twitter account, on Oct. 23rd 2020, that the military killed 38 people when it opened fire on unarmed demonstrators on Tuesday, Oct. 20th 2020.
“Less than a month later, the same CNN, based on a rehash of old, unverified videos in what it called an EXCLUSIVE report, was only able to confirm that one person died in the same incident,” he said.
source : pmnews