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Lekki shootings: We stand by our report – CNN

Cable News Network (CNN) has said that it stands with her report as it was “carefully and meticulously researched” but responded to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s comment that the report of the CNN was irresponsible journalism because it’s based on online fake videos as described by the Minister of Information and Culture of the country, Lai Mohammed while speaking with the newsmen.

The Lekki Shooting and #Endsars protest had generated several reactions after the unfortunate October 20 shooting at Lekki Toll Gate. Earlier before the shooting, staffs of the toll gate were seen removing the cameras at the toll and later the light of the tollgate was off and the whole well-lighted environment turns blackout. The Lekki incident has been condemned locally and internationally by civil rights organisations.

Although the management of the tollgate had said the removed camera does not record visuals but it’s a special camera that takes record of vehicles that uses the toll.

However, 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 on her part had published an investigative report earlier in the week claiming the soldiers fired live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki toll gate which Mohammed denied on Thursday while speaking to the newsmen at a press conference in Abuja 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 newsmen.

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“This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that,” he said.

The Cable News Network on her part has said it remains and stands with her reports which were meticulously and carefully researched and stays solidly with the report.

“Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it,” CNN stated.

“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 added.

“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”.

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