By Seun Adeuyi
The last is yet to be heard on the controversy surrounding the shooting of armless protesters at Lekki tollgate following the release of another round of report by Cable News Network (CNN) on the shootings of unarmed protesters on October 20, 2020.
A more damning report was released by CNN containing the video recording of the lekki tollgate shooting and backup vocal analytics.
CNN published a copy of the CCTV footage obtained ahead of the panel’s sitting on Saturday and matched it up to verified footage tendered as part of the evidence by The Lekki Concession Company (LCC).
The media house affirmed that the footage corroborated the timings CNN reported for the gunshots fired by the army. It also shows soldiers approaching protesters and firing shots.
It stressed that what is perhaps most notable is that at 6:47 p.m., the moment when CNN has video of the army appearing to fire directly at protesters, the surveillance camera pans away from the area.
CNN observed that the surveillance camera panned left and tilted up before reframing and struggling for focus. It observed that it was unclear if the camera panned away deliberately or whether the pan away was a poor choice by the CCTV operator.
The LCC had previously testified at the panel on November 3 that the recording stopped at around 8 p.m. because it was tampered with.
The surveillance footage once again raises questions about the investigation into what happened at the Lekki toll gate protest and why surveillance video from the evening does not provide a more complete picture.
CNN’s earlier investigation had revealed the use of live ammunition at the toll gate, based on analysis carried out by ballistics experts and conversations with military sources.
The army had insisted that only blanks were used.
Adesina Ogunlana, a lawyer who is representing some of the “#EndSARS” protesters at the judicial panel, told CNN that another protester died recently after falling into coma from injuries sustained on October 20.
“I saw one of them that was shot at and taken to Reddington (Hospital),” Ogunlana said. “About … three Sundays ago, I was there and there was this person shot in the head. He’s dead now.”
“What blanks lodge in somebody’s brain and stay there and send him to a coma, killing him?”
The report highlighted the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with the ministers who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.
The report also showed protesters running as soldiers opened fire.
It would be recalled that Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, had last week described CNN’s report as poor journalism, adding that the network deserved to be sanctioned.
The minister also followed up the threat with a letter addressed to the management of the network in Atlanta.
CNN, however, on Tuesday did a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at protesters on October 20, 2020.
Last month, the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), which is overseen by the information minister, had slammed hefty fines on three Nigerian television stations for daring to use some of the footage which CNN has also used.