By Seun Adeuyi
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has accused Cable News Network (CNN), of desperation over its second report on the Lekki toll plaza shootings that happened on October 20, 2020 during the #EndSARS protests.
CNN had on Tuesday released a second ‘investigative report’ on the shootings at Lekki toll plaza amid threats of sanction from the Federal Government.
But the minister, while speaking on NTA, on Wednesday, said CNN’s reports lacked credible sources.
His words, “It shows that they (CNN) are desperate. The so-called recent development has been seen before. There is nothing new. If there is anything new, it is a contradiction of CNN’s position.
“What we are asking CNN is that where is your evidence? The military has been consistent. CNN contravenes the basic principles of journalism – fairness, and balance.
‘They did the story without contacting the Federal Government for its own side. They relied on second and third parties narratives.
“They (CNN) were caught spreading fake news and they are trying to escape.
“We are accusing them (CNN) of basing their stories on videos sourced on social media. CNN has been inconsistent. It also doctored the video it got.
“We are confident in our position.”
“We have received an acknowledgment and we were told that the letter has been passed to the editorial team,” he said when quizzed on the letter addressed to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications), CNN Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
CNN, in its second report stated that it had obtained the video and subsequently analysed its content.
In the report titled, ‘Analysis of CCTV footage from Lekki toll gate raises new questions about shooting’, the cable network also compared the CCTV footage with some of the videos on social media which the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had sanctioned three local television stations for using and concluded that the authorities had more questions to answer.
The CNN report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.