The Nigerian government has described an exclusive investigative report of the Cable News Network (CNN), an American news-based pay television channel on the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki toll plaza on October 20, 2020, as blatantly irresponsible and a poor piece of journalistic work.
The country’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this on Thursday at a press conference in the nations’ capital Abuja and described the event of October 20, 2020, as a “massacre without bodies” insisting that not a single body has been produced or a single-family has come out to claim their family member was killed at the Lekki tollgate.
“CNN, which touted its report as an exclusive investigative report, sadly relied on the same videos that have been circulating on social media, without verification. This is very serious and CNN should be sanctioned for that.
“CNN merely said the videos ‘were obtained by CNN’, without saying wherefrom and whether or not it authenticated them. Were CNN reporters and cameramen at the Lekki Toll Gate that evening? If the answer is no, on what basis were they reporting? Relying on second or third-hand information and presenting it as ‘CNN Investigation’?
“Again, this is irresponsible journalism for which CNN deserves to be sanctioned. We insist that the military did not shoot at protesters at Lekki Toll Gate. They fired blank ammunition in the air. Again, anyone who knows anyone who was killed at Lekki Toll Gate should head to the Judicial Panel with conclusive evidence of such.”
Mohammed also described DJ Switch, real name Obianuju Catherine Udeh suspect as “a fraud and a front for divisive and destructive forces.”
The popular disk jockey Udeh live-streamed the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate and has since gone into hiding. She spoke to CNN on Wednesday and described the Nigerian government as a dictatorship with a democratic face.
But the Minister said; “one of the purveyors of fake news and disinformation during the EndSARS crisis was DJ Switch, real name Obianuju Catherine Udeh, even though she claimed to have authentic evidence of mass killings.
“Surprisingly, instead of presenting whatever evidence she may have to the Judicial Panel, she chose to escape from the country under the pretext that her life was in danger. I ask: in danger from whom? The military has come out to say they never sought after her. To the best of our knowledge, the police never declared her wanted. Her conduct thus becomes suspect.
“Who is she fronting for? What is her real motive? Who are her sponsors? If she has any evidence of killings, why is she not presenting it to the Panel? If she was so desperate for asylum in any country, does she have to resort to blatant falsehood to tarnish the image of the country just to achieve her aim?
“In the fullness of time, this lady will be exposed for what she is, a fraud, and a front for divisive and destructive forces. At this juncture, we want to appeal to countries that have made hasty judgments on the basis of fake news and disinformation emanating from the EndSARS crisis to endeavor to seek and find the truth.”
By Abel Ejikeme