CNN: How Nigerian Army used live bullets on Lekki protesters

Nellie Chapman
November 21, 2020

He said: "The Nigerians in Diaspora Monitoring Group has taken time to review a purported special report by Cable Network News (CNN) alleging several crimes against the authorities in Nigeria from October 20, 2020, Lekki Toll Gate incident and has come to the inevitable conclusion that the global news network owes Nigeria and its citizens apology".

Despite the record of rights violations, arbitrary arrest and detention and deaths, which have been widely condemned by the worldwide community, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, said the actions of the security agencies were professional.

We insist that the military did not shoot at protesters at Lekki Toll Gate.

"Some have tagged it "social media massacre".

@aproko_doctor wrote, I love how CNN is exposing what really happened at the Lekki Tollgate, unfortunately, in Nigeria, the NBC sanctioned media houses for using the same videos that CNN used in analysing the event. I must tell you that it reinforces the disinformation that is going round, and it is blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable worldwide news organization.

When however asked the kind of sanction he is recommending for a foreign organisation, the minister simply said "CNN has internal mechanism but we will do the needful on our part".

"If the answer is no, on what basis were they reporting?" If CNN had done its investigation properly, it would have known how fake news and disinformation were trending during the EndSARS crisis.

Amid the controversy that ensued, CNN had released an investigative report countering the claims of the Nigerian Army. Talking about the BBC, a reporter with the BBC's Pidgin Service, Damilola Banjo, was at Lekki Toll Gate protest ground that night.

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According to CNN, a forensic probe of the bullet casings recovered from the scene of the incident revealed that live bullets were fired at the protesters.

He blamed human rights organisations and some media organisations for allegedly propagating falsehoods and refusing to express outrage at the killing of security agents during the riots that followed the protests.

Although he insisted that DJ Switch (Obianuju Catherine Udeh) had not been declared wanted by any security agency, Mohammed, however, said #EndSARS protesters are not immune from prosecution. They fired blank ammunition in the air.

"Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it", a spokesperson for the American-based news agency was quoted as saying in an email on Thursday.

The report was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses, and photosand videoobtained and geolocated by CNN.

The network shared footages of what appears to be soldiers shooting at the #EndSARS protesters who had gathered at the tollgate to press home their demands to end police brutality. They didn't just talk about the story, they actually conducted their investigation into the Lekki massacre and are confronting the Army and Lagos State government with facts.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government had first said no deaths were recorded before Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed that two persons later died from their wounds.

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