Nigeria should sanction CNN for report on shooting of protesters - minister

Cheryl Sanders
November 21, 2020

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information on Thursday said CNN should be sanctioned for its investigations which he described as irresponsible journalism.

He added, "In its jaundiced reporting, CNN was blind to the fact that six soldiers and 37 policemen were killed in unprovoked attacks".

Recall that soldiers were alleged to have shot and killed some End SARS protesters at Lekki toll gate recently.

He added that the same can not be said of those that killed security personnel in a barbaric manner.

Nigeria should sanction CNN for a report that the country's military shot and killed protesters demonstrating against police brutality, a minister said on Thursday, but the USA channel defended its reporting.

"Again, this is irresponsible journalism for which CNN deserves to be sanctioned".

He said: "The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group has taken time to review a purported special report by Cable Network News (CNN) alleging several crimes against the authorities in Nigeria from October 20, 2020, Lekki Toll Gate incident and has come to the inevitable conclusion that the global news network owes Nigeria and its citizens apology". They fired blank ammunition into the air.

The minister also justified the sanctions imposed on three media organisations by the National Broadcasting Commission for allegedly using unverified and unsafe information from social media. "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.

"While the government has no plans to shut down the internet, it will work with stakeholders to regulate the social media to curb abuse". If CNN had done its investigation properly, it would have known how fake news and disinformation were trending during the EndSARS crisis.

According to CNN, the report was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses, and photos and video obtained and geolocated by CNN.

A CNN spokesperson said "Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it". 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. Video footage shows soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters.

Even though some websites reported that the famous DJ was granted asylum in Canada after she received multiple death threats, she denied the claims during an interview with CNN yesterday, saying that she would want to go back to Nigeria to take part in the protests but confirmed that she wasn't in Nigeria at the time being. "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".

Other reports by iNewsToday