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Nigeria Threatens To Sanction CNN Over Report

After calling for sanction against the Cable News Network (CNN) over its investigative report on Tuesday, October 20 shooting of ENDSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture says the country would do the needful against the US-based television station.

Mohammed in a press conference held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital Thursday morning described the investigative report by CNN on the shooting as one-dimensional and lacking in balance.

He insisted that CNN should be sanctioned for misinformation and irresponsible reporting, just as he maintained that the military fired blank bullets into the air and not at the crowd.

When asked by a reporter to specify which body he thought would sanction the US-based news channel, Mohammed said “ I believe that CNN itself has internal mechanisms to discipline erring staff, but on our own part also we would do the needful”.

The CNN in a report titled “How a bloody night of bullets and brutality quashed a young protest movement” published on Wednesday, November 18 gave a graphical account of what transpired on the night of Tuesday, October 20 at the Lekki Tollgate, including video, pictorial evidence and interviews with victims and their relatives.

HumAngle reports that the Nigerian Army on Saturday maintained that soldiers who were seen at the Lekki Tollgate on that Tuesday night were there at the instance of Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria after the police were overrun by protesters.

Ahmed Taiwo, the representative of the Nigerian Army at the Lagos Judicial Panel set up to investigate police brutality and Lekki shooting testified before the panel, explaining the extent of the involvement of the Army in the #ENDSARS protest and the Lekki toll gate shooting.

Sanwo-Olu had on the morning of Wednesday, October 21 in a live broadcast exonerated himself from the involvement of the military in the now ‘infamous’ Lekki shooting, insisting that the control of military forces was not within the purview of a sitting governor.

 “For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. I have, nonetheless, ordered an investigation into the rules of engagement adopted by men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki toll gate last night,” he had said.

But in his submission, before the panel on Saturday, Taiwo, a Brigadier General said the military authorities were not happy about the denial by the governor on his call to the Army to intervene.

He said he has spoken personally with the Governor on the displeasure of his comment and added that the Nigerian Army was not happy about two things.

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Yekeen Akinwale

Yekeen Akinwale is a multiple award-winning investigative journalist with over 17 years journalism experience across different newsrooms in Nigeria. He had previously worked at Leadership Newspaper, Nigerian Compass, New Telegraph and Freedom Newspaper. A graduate of Mass Communication, Akinwale was the Head of Newsroom at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) before joining HumAngle. He is passionate about investigative reporting, environment, climate change and developments. Akinwale is the 2018 Investigative Journalist of the Year for Diamond Media Award for Excellence (DAME) and 2019 Business Reporter of the Year for Nigeria Media Merit Award ((NMMA).

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