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CNN Posts New Report on Lekki Incident

CNN Posts New Report on Lekki Incident

The Cable News Network (CNN) on Tuesday released a second report on the Lekki Tollgate shootings by the Nigerian Arrmy during the #EndSARS protests on October 20, 2020.

This is coming after authorities in Nigeria have written to CNN to protest what they called the inaccuracy of the first report.

In a lengthy letter written by Nigeria’s information minister, Lai Mohammed, on Monday, he said “we write to put on record that the report did not just fall short of journalistic standards, it reinforces the disinformation that is going around on the issue, it is blatantly irresponsible and it is a poor piece of journalistic work by a reputable international news organization.”

CNN had earlier insisted that its report was meticulously researched and has now posted a second report with more damning footage showing soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters on the fateful day at Lekki.

The fresh report, titled ‘Analysis of CCTV Footage From Lekki Toll Gate Raises New Questions About Shooting’, also shows the Commander, 81 Division, Brig.Gen Ahmed Taiwo, admitting before the judicial panel in Lagos that his men indeed took live ammunition to the tollgate, highlighting the fact that Brig.Gen Taiwo’s claim was contrary to the minister’s who had claimed last week that the army fired blank bullets.

The fresh report also shows protesters running as soldiers open fire at the tollgate.

CNN said in the new report that the video footage of the Lekki incident it obtained before the one presented by the Nigerian authorities at the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry suggests that the later was tampered with.

The report said:

“CNN obtained a copy of the CCTV footage ahead of the panel’s sitting on Saturday and matched it up to verified footage published as part of an investigation last week into the events at the toll gate.
“The footage corroborates the timings CNN reported for the gunshots fired by the army. It also shows soldiers approaching protesters and firing shots.
“What is perhaps most notable is what’s missing.
At 6:47 p.m., the moment when CNN has video of the army appearing to fire directly at protesters, the surveillance camera pans away from the area.
“The Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the firm that operates the toll gate in a public-private partnership, says its staff were sent home before an evening curfew, imposed by the State’s Governor, came into effect.
“The surveillance camera pans left and tilts up before reframing and struggling for focus. It is unclear if the camera pans away deliberately or whether the pan away is a poor choice by the CCTV operator.
“The LCC had previously testified at the panel on November 3 that the recording stopped at around 8 p.m. because it was tampered with.
The surveillance footage once again raises questions about the investigation into what happened at the Lekki toll gate protest — and why surveillance video from the evening does not provide a more complete picture.
“In the aftermath of CNN’s investigation, the United States and the United Kingdom have called on Nigeria to ensure that its investigation is free and fair”, the new report said.

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