The Nigeria government has threatened to sanction CNN over its recent report on the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers in Lagos on 20 October.
The country’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, described the report as “irresponsible journalism” at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
The press briefing, which according to him, was convened to address lingering issues regarding the #EndSARS protests for police reform that rocked the nation last month.
CNN had broadcast an investigative report this week showing soldiers firing live ammunition directly at protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.
The CNN in the report titled “How a bloody night of bullets and brutality quashed a young protest movement”, broadcast on 18 November, gave a graphical account of what transpired on the night of Tuesday, 20 October at the Lekki Tollgate, including video, pictorial evidence and interviews with victims and their relatives.
Minister Mohammed described the event of 20 October as a “massacre without bodies”, insisting that not a single body had been produced or a single family had come out to claim their family member was killed at the incident.
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. He advised persons with evidence on the Lekki shootings to give their testimony before the Lagos panel currently probing the incident.