CNN Stands by ‘Meticulously’ Researched Report – Accuses Govt. of Declining Interviews

U.S based Cable News Network – CNN, says it stands by its “carefully and meticulously researched” report on the shooting by army at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos despite Nigerian government denial that live bullets were fired at peaceful protesters.

CNN had reported earlier this week, that men in Nigerian military uniform had fired live bullets at peaceful protesters. The international television station released video footage, showing at least one person appearing to be dead from the scene of the protest. Nigeria however, earlier on Thursday, through Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, insisted that no life was lost at the protest scene on October 20. The country instead, labeled CNN “irresponsible,” for allegedly relying on unverifiable videos sourced from social media to produce its report.

In a swift response, CNN said it stood by its earlier report on the incident, adding that it verified photos and videos acquired from multiple eyewitnesses and protesters using timestamps and other data from the video files.

“The report was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses, and photos and video obtained and geo-located by CNN. It painted a picture of how members of the Nigerian Army and the police shot at the crowd, killing at least one person and wounding dozens more.

“Video footage shows soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses established that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.

“Prior to publishing the report, CNN tried multiple times to elicit comment from the Nigerian Army and police. A Lagos State police spokesman declined to comment because of an ongoing investigation. While a statement from the Lagos State government said that there would be no comment while a judicial tribunal was underway.”

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