The Federal Government has hit out at America’s Cable News Network (CNN) for prematurely celebrating a leaked report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into the Oct. 20, 2020 Lekki Toll Gate incidence in Lagos.
At a media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said CNN, a multinational news television channel was in a rush to vindication.
Dismissing the report, Mohammed said “it is fake, riddled with so many errors and cannot be relied upon because its authenticity is in doubt.
“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. 20 2020 incident at Lekki, where it did not have a correspondent on 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 and innuendoes.
“That’s double faux pas by a news organisation that is eager and willing to compromise standards just to claim vindication,’’ he said.
The minister also berated some section of the Nigerian media which he said had also joined the lynch mob.
“Honestly, in an attempt to vilify government at all costs, they have done themselves a great disservice.
“How can any news organisation 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 ‘’detailed investigative report’’ by CNN, even when the news channel did not even cover the incident of Oct. 20 2020!.
“It’s a classic case of cutting your nose to spite your face,’’ he said.
Mohammed reiterated that there was nothing in the report in circulation that would make the government to change its stand that there was no massacre at Lekki on Oct. 20 2020.