Cable News Network (CNN) has replied the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, over his comments on its investigation into the shooting at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.
The international media outfit maintained that its report was not done in a rush as it ensured due processes were followed, which included thorough research.
“Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it,” a spokesperson for the American-based news agency 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 video obtained and geolocated by the news agency.
The Nigerian Army had since confirmed that soldiers were deployed at the venue where peaceful #EndSARS protesters had gathered on October 20, it insisted that nobody was killed.
The army has been insisting that no live ammunition was fired at the protest ground, stressing that only blank bullets were used to disperse the demonstrators.
Following various reports and reactions sparked by the shooting, Mohammed is for CNN to be sanctioned for publishing the report.
Addressing reporters in Abuja a day after the report was published, the minister stated that it was one-dimensional and lacked balance.
However, in its reaction, CNN 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.
The news outfit further stated that 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 before publishing the report, multiple efforts were made to get the reactions of 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.
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