CNN, on Thursday, reacted to the reckless comments made by Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on the international media’s thorough investigation into the ordered shooting of peaceful EndSARS protesters, at Lekki toll gate, in Lagos, on Tuesday night, October 20,
It insisted that it did not rush to publish the report, as it ensured due processes were followed, which included very thorough research.
“Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it”, a Spokesperson for CNN was quoted as saying in an email on Thursday.
Reacting to the Minister’s comments in a post published on its website, CNN stated that the report, titled: ‘How A Bloody Night Of Bullets And Brutality Quashed A Young Protest Movement’, was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses, as well as photos and videos obtained, and geolocated by CNN.
While the Nigerian Army confirmed tSoldiers ers were deployed at the venue where peaceful EndSARS protesters had gathered on October 21, it insisted repeatedly that nobody was killed.
Amid various reports and reactions sparked by the shooting, Lai Mohammed said that CNN should be sanctioned for publishing the report.
The Minister, who addressed Reporters in Abuja, a day after the report was published, stated that, it was one-dimensional, and lacked balance.
Nonetheless, the CNN, in its reaction, stressed that its report painted a picture of how Soldiers shot at the crowd of harmless protesters, killing at least one person, and wounding dozens more.
It explained that photos and videos acquired from multiple eyewitnesses and protesters, were verified using timestamps, and other data from the video files.
According to CNN, video footage shows Soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of demonstrators, and accounts from eyewitnesses established that after the Army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.
It added that prior to publishing the report, multiple efforts were made to get the reactions of the Army and Police authorities.
“A Lagos State Police Spokesman declined to comment, because of an ongoing investigation. A statement from the Lagos State Government, said that there would be no comment while a Judicial Tribunal was underway”, CNN said.
Meanwhile, there are speculations that CNN may drag the Minister of Information before the International Court, for wrongly accusing the reputable and globally watched news agency of publishing fake news on the tragic event.