CNN and Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government of Nigeria has accused CNN of releasing a doctored video to change the truth of what happened at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza on October 20.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this on NTA Wednesday while reacting to the second ‘investigative report’ on Lekki toll shootings, released by CNN.

CNN, in its second report titled, ‘Analysis of CCTV footage from Lekki toll gate raises new questions about the shooting.’

The news platform stated that it had obtained the video and subsequently analysed its content.

CNN also compared the CCTV footage with some of the videos on social media which the National Broadcasting Commission had sanctioned three local television stations for using and concluded that the authorities had more questions to answer.

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The fresh report also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig. Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate.

The CNN report also highlights the fact that Brig. Gen Taiwo’s claim is at variance with that of the minister who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.

However, Lai Mohammed faulted CNN’s reports, saying it lacked credible sources.

When asked about the second CNN’s report, Mohammed said, “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.

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“What we are asking CNN is that where is your evidence? 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.”

On the letter addressed to Jonathan Hawkins, VP (Communications), CNN Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the minister said, “We have received an acknowledgment and we were told that the letter has been passed to the editorial team.”