Cable News Network (CNN) has reacted to the Federal Government’s stance that it should be sanctioned over its report on the Lekki Tollgate incident of October 20, 2020.
Earlier, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed had knocked CNN for what he called “irresponsible journalism,” saying the news media relied on unverified and doctored videos to reach its conclusion that the Nigerian army shot live ammunitions at protesters which resulted in the death of at least one person.
However, in a swift reaction on Thursday, the CNN said in a statement that it stands by its investigation, adding that it’s reporting was “carefully and meticulously researched”.
CNN also said it verified photos and videos acquired from multiple eyewitnesses and protesters using timestamps and other data from the video files.
“The investigation was broadcast and published on Wednesday and cast doubt on Nigerian authorities’ shifting and changing statements over what happened at the protest at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.
“The CNN report included evidence that bullet casings from the scene matched those used by the Nigerian army when shooting live rounds, according to current and former Nigerian military officials.
“Two ballistics experts also confirmed with CNN that the shape of the bullet casings indicate they used live rounds, which contradicts the army’s claim they fired blanks,” the CNN statement read.
CNN also wrote on its website: “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”.