Published: Sat, November 21, 2020

CNN reacts to sanction threat, says ‘we stand by our report’

CNN reacts to sanction threat, says ‘we stand by our report’

Obviously, CNN did not consider the security agents human enough.

While the Nigerian Army confirmed that soldiers were deployed at the venue where peaceful #EndSARS protesters had gathered on October 21, it insisted that nobody was killed.

"CNN relied heavily on unreliable and possibly doctored videos as well as information sources from questionable sources to reach these conclusions", he continued.

"This should earn CNN a serious sanction for irresponsible reporting".

While speaking on Thursday, he said, "We insist that the military did not shoot at the protesters at Lekki".

"While the government has no plans to shut down the internet, it will work with stakeholders to regulate the social media to curb abuse".

"CNN, in its 'investigation, ' was blind to the wanton destruction of property in Lagos and across the country. Again, anyone who knows anyone who was killed at Lekki Toll Gate should head to the Judicial Panel with conclusive evidence of such", he said.

Eyewitnesses have since told CNN that the government's comments are "lies", making them feel as though they had "hallucinated the whole event". "It is sad to see the traditional media jettisoning the age-long gate-keeping process and instead rushing to rely on the free-wheeling social media - devoid of any gate keeping - for news", he said. If CNN had done its investigation properly, it would have known how fake news and disinformation were trending during the EndSARS crisis.

The Federal Government has threatened to sanction a foreign media outlet, Cable News Network (CNN), over its report on the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Toll Plaza on October 20, 2020.

A CNN spokesperson said "Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it".

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 video obtained and geolocated by the news agency. CNN said it verified photos and videos acquired from multiple eyewitnesses and protesters using timestamps and other data from the video files.

Prior to publishing the report, CNN said it tried multiple times to elicit comment from the Nigerian army and police.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government had first said no deaths were recorded before Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed that two persons later died from their wounds. He denied that soldiers would shoot at Nigerian citizens.

On November 18, 2020, CNN released an investigative report showing that despite the Nigerian army's denial, live rounds were fired at the Lekki tollgate, killing and injuring several innocent lives.

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