The Cable News Network, CNN has reacted to the threat of sanctions from the Nigerian Government, insisting that the Nigerian army shot live bullets on protesters in the Lekki toll gate, Lagos during the #EndSARS protests on Tuesday, October 20.
It said its report was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses and verified footage of soldiers appearing to shoot in direction of protesters.
A statement by its spokesperson read, “our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it.”
CNN stated this in a report on Thursday in response to comments by the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that the news platform practised “irresponsible journalism” by relying on fake videos sourced from social media to produce its report.
CNN had published an investigative report this week claiming soldiers fired live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki toll gate, a claim which Mohammed denied on Thursday.
“Like everyone else, I watched the CNN report. I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going around, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization,” Mohammed told reporters at a press conference in Abuja today.
“This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that,” he added.
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 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.”
The Lekki incident has been condemned locally and internationally by civil rights organisations.
Watch the video below;
Second KDSG Security Update: Wednesday 5th May 2021
KDSG rejoices with freed Afaka students
The Kaduna State Police Command has reported to the Kaduna State Government, the release of the remaining students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization.
The government rejoices with the freed students, their families and the management of the institution over this development.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai charged them to view their ordeal as a motivator to put the past behind and work hard towards a happier and successful future ahead.
Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State.
Unknown Gunmen Kidnap NUJ Member In Yola
A news editor with the Adamawa Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Yola Mrs Amra Ahmed Diska has been kidnapped in the early hours of Tuesday by unknown gunmen.
The victim who is a nursing mother only resumed work recently after a mertanity leave.
Investigations revealed that the gun men numbering about 15 with dangerous weapons invaded the residence of the victim at Mbamba in Yola South local government area and whisked her away.
The kidnappers upon their arrival into the residence, broke the sitting room door and gained access into the bedroom asking the whereabout of the husband of the victim.
In the absence of the husband, the gunmen kidnapped the wife leaving behind her six-month-old baby.
FCT not under attack, says police.
The Nigeria Police Force has said the Federal Capital Territory is not under attack by Boko Haram terrorists as purported on social media.
This is according to a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Yusuf Mariam, for the FCT Police Command.
The PPRO said the Commissioner of Police, CP Bala Ciroma, urged residents to remain calm and ensure they verify any information before circulating it to avoid creating panic among members of the public.
The statement read, “The attention of the FCT Joint Security Team has been drawn to a viral publication in the social media purporting that the ‘Federal Capital Territory is under the attack of Boko Haram Terrorists’.
security concerns within the FCT, held a strategic meeting on Thursday 29th April 2021, where the team resolved to deploy alternative proactive crime-fighting measures within the FCT particularly in areas with challenging terrain including aggressive motorized/patrols.*
“However, the patrols will be conducted in line with the peculiarities of every terrain within the territory, in other words, the team has adopted the use of motorcycles, horses and other technical means of gathering intelligence to checkmate criminality within the Federal Capital Territory.