CNN had demanded an apology from the minister for tagging its investigative report on the Lekki shootings as fake.
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohamed has mocked the Cable Network News (CNN) saying they didn’t read the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters report before reacting.
This comes as he termed the report ‘fake news’ while reacting on Tuesday.
Recall that CNN had through its Nigerian lawyer, Olumide Babalola demanded an apology from the minister for tagging its investigative report on the Lekki shootings as fake.
In a statement released last week, Babalola stated that the Lagos #EndSARS panel’s report had vindicated CNN’s investigative report on the night of October 20, 2020.
However, while reacting in Abuja on Tuesday, Mohammed asked the international news media not to rush to vindicate itself following the leaked report.
He insisted that CNN made a mistake by claiming that there was a massacre at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, adding the news company goofed in its report of the panel’s findings.
“The CNN has been celebrating the leaked report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry. In its rush to claim vindication, CNN apparently didn’t even read the report before rolling out the drums in celebration.
“By that action, CNN has celebrated prematurely and has now committed a double faux pas: First, by relying on unverified social media stories and videos to carry out an investigation of the Oct. 20th 2020 incident at Lekki, where it did not have a correspondent on the ground.
“CNN goofed in its report on the findings of the panel, which fell below the main standards of journalism. Secondly, CNN rushed to the air to celebrate an unsigned and unverified report that is riddled with inconsistencies, errors, discrepancies, innuendoes. That’s double faux pas by a news organization that is eager and willing to compromise standards just to claim vindication.”
The minister also berated some local media for wrongly vilifying the Federal Government and security agencies in the Lekki shooting.
“Sadly, a section of the Nigerian media has also joined the lynch mob. Honestly, in an attempt to vilify the government at all costs, they have done themselves a great disservice.
“How can any news organization worth its salt write an Editorial validating this kind of report? Are they not seeing what others, including journalists and lawyers, are seeing?
“In a shocking twist, a Nigerian newspaper chose to hail what it calls a ‘’detailed investigative report’’ by CNN, even when the news channel did not even cover the incident of Oct. 20th 2020! It’s a classic case of cutting your nose to spite your face.”