Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Federal Government has again faulted the Cable News Network (CNN) over its recent report on alleged massacre of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate, on October 20.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who was a guest on the government-owned Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), yesterday, challenged the CNN to provide the evidence of dead bodies allegedly killed by soldiers.
He accused CNN of spreading fake news in desperate bid after it realised it had violated journalistic principles of fairness and balance.
“It shows that they (CNN) are desperate. The so-called recent development has been seen before. There is nothing new. If there is anything new, it is a contradiction of CNN’s position.
“What we are asking CNN is that where is your evidence? Where are the bodies? The military has been consistent. CNN contravenes the basic principles of journalism – fairness, and balance.
“They did the story without contacting the Federal Government for its own side. They relied on second and third parties narratives.
“They (CNN) were caught spreading fake news and they are trying to escape.
“We are accusing them (CNN) of basing their stories on videos sourced on social media. CNN has been inconsistent. It also doctored the video it got.
“We are confident in our position.”
But CNN has maintained it stand by its report.
CNN, in its second report: ‘Analysis of CCTV footage from Lekki toll gate raises new questions about shooting’, said it had obtained the video and subsequently analysed its content.
CNN also matched the CCTV footage with some of the videos on social media which the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) had sanctioned three local television stations for using and concluded that the authorities had more questions to answer.
The fresh report showed the Commander, 81 Division, Brigadier Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel that his men took live ammunition to the tollgate after initial denials.