CNN says it is standing by its report that soldiers used live bullets on #EndSARS protesters in Lagos.
On Wednesday, CNN published an investigation on the Lekki incident, alleging that soldiers used live rounds on protesters who had converged on Lekki tollgate on October 20.
The report had drawn the ire of the federal government who threatened to sanction CNN over “irresponsible reporting”.
At a press conference on Thursday Lai Mohammed, minister of information, describing the alleged killings at the tollgate as “massacre without bodies”.
But in a statement on Thursday, CNN said the report was carefully and meticulously researched.
The news outlet said the report is based on multiple witness account, adding that the army and police declined calls to respond to the investigation before the story was published.
“Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it,” the statement read.
“The report was based on testimony from dozens of witnesses, and photos and video obtained and geolocated by CNN. It painted a picture of how members of the Nigerian army and the police shot at the crowd, killing at least one person and wounding dozens more.
“CNN verified photos and videos acquired from multiple eyewitnesses and protesters using timestamps and other data from the video files.
“Video footage shows soldiers who appear to be shooting in the direction of protesters. And accounts from eyewitnesses established that after the army withdrew, a second round of shooting happened later in the evening.
“Prior to publishing the report, CNN tried multiple times to elicit comment from the Nigerian army and police. A Lagos State police spokesman declined to comment because of an ongoing investigation.
“While a statement from the Lagos State government said that there would be no comment while a judicial tribunal was underway.”