The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has condemned the U.S-based CNN’s investigative report on October 20 shootings at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos State.
Recall that a CNN report on November 18 had alleged that the Nigerian Army used live bullets on protesters during its intervention in the #EndSARS protests at the Lekki toll gate.
The American cable network also unveiled the identity of a protester, Victor Sunday Ibanga, who reportedly died on the night of the shootings.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the minister described the report “blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization”.
According to him, the report is one-dimensional and lacking in balance.
He said” “CNN engaged in incredible sensationalism and did a great disservice to itself and to journalism.
“In the first instance, CNN, which touted its report as an exclusive investigative report, sadly relied on the same videos that have been circulating on social media, without verification.
“This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that. CNN merely said the videos were ”obtained by CNN”, without saying wherefrom and whether or not it authenticated them.
“Were CNN reporters and cameramen at the Lekki Toll Gate that evening? If the answer is no, on what basis were they reporting? Relying on second or third hand information and presenting it as ”CNN Investigation”?
“Why didn’t the CNN balance its story by showing the compelling testimony of Brig.-Gen. Taiwo before the Judicial Panel in Lagos? Is this one-sided reporting what is expected from an international media organization or any serious news organization?
“If CNN had done its investigation properly, it would have known how fake news and disinformation were trending during the EndSARS crisis.”