The Federal Government has threatened to sanction a foreign media outlet, CNN, over its report on the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020.
The government described the report by the foreign news medium as “irresponsible journalism”.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known on Thursday at a press conference in Abuja. According to him, the briefing was conveyed to address lingering issues regarding the #EndSARS protests for police reform that rocked the nation last month.
He described the event of October 20, 2020 as a “massacre without bodies”, insisting that not a single body has been produced or a single family has come out to claim their family member was killed at the Lekki tollgate.
The minister alleged that CNN relied on social media videos without verification to produce its report. “This should earn CNN a serious sanction for irresponsible reporting,” Mohammed said.
He added that some “unscrupulous persons” including celebrities circulated fake news on the social media that aggravated the violence that trailed the two-week demonstration.
Mohammed also said the government stands by last Saturday’s testimony of the Commander of 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Victoria Island, Lagos, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Taiwo, who told the Judicial Panel of Inquiry instituted by the Lagos State Government that blank bullets were fired into the skies at the toll gate.
He advised persons with evidence on the Lekki shootings to give its testimony before the Lagos panel probing the incident.
CNN had published an investigative report this week claiming soldiers fired live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki toll gate.