Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has demanded for sanctions against international news media outlet, CNN, over its investigative report on the brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate, Lagos last October 20.
A government panel of inquiry is investigating the reported shooting by soldiers and policemen of the protesters who were demonstrating against police brutality, using the social media hashtag – #EndSARS.
CNN said its findings from verified video footages show the Nigerian Army opened fire at #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate in Lagos on that fateful night.
But Mohammed at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday said the CNN report, which indicted the security forces, was one-dimensional and lacking in balance.
“CNN did not have reporters on ground during the Lekki toll gate protest, they relied on videos which circulated on social media. On which basis did they do their report?” he asked.
Mohammed validated a report done by the BBC which he claimed was based more on facts; while stressing that CNN should be sanctioned for misinformation and irresponsible reporting.
“This should earn CNN a serious sanction for irresponsible reporting,” the Minister argued.
The Minister insisted on the Nigeria army account that the soldiers fired blank bullets into the air and not at the crowd of protesters.
He also urged people who lost relatives or whose family members have been missing since the incident to report to the judicial panel investigating the incident.
CNN in the report, declared that it made efforts to get statements from both the Nigerian Army and Lagos State government, to no avail.