The Federal Government has described the CNN report Lekki Toll Gate shootings as fake and disgrace to journalism profession.
The Minister calls on sanction against the foreign news organuorgani.
Speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the CNN goofed by concluding that the soldiers who were present at the Lekki Toll Gate killed some of the protesters
He added that the report of CNN was not balanced and did not follow the ethics of journalism.He accused the international news organisation of depending on doctored videos and questionable sources,
He said: “Like everyone else, I watched the CNN report and I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going round, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organisation.
“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,’’ he said.
Mohammed lamented that the CNN reporter and cameraman were not at the scene when the incident happened, but leaned on unverified souces to acquire its information.
“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 are they reporting? Relying on second or third hand information and presenting it as ”CNN Investigation”?
“Is this 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.’’ he said
He also accused the CNN of not using the tesimony given by Brig.-Gen. IbrahimTaiwo before the Judicial Panel in Lagos, saying that such unbalanced report shouldn’t have emanated from a media organisation like the CNN.
“Less than a month later, the same CNN, in what it called an EXCLUSIVE report based on a rehash of old, unverified videos, was only able to confirm that one person died in the same incident,’’ he said.
Mohammed said the CNN could have acted responsibily like BCC which did a detailed report on the matter.
“Talking about the BBC, a reporter with the BBC’s Pidgin Service, Damilola Banjo, was at Lekki Toll Gate protest ground that night.
“She was quoted as saying soldiers were indeed at the Toll Gate but they shot ‘’sporadically into the air’’ and not at the
“protesters. CNN that was not at the scene reported otherwise,’’ he said