The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday petitioned the Cable News Network (CNN), demanding “an immediate and exhaustive investigation into its report on the Lekki Toll Gate incident.
The petition threatened to take legal action and urged the network to determine its authenticity and conformity to basic standards of journalism.
In the petition addressed to Mr Jonathan Hawkins VP, Communications, CNN Centre Atlanta, Georgia U.S, the government said if the international media organisation failed to carry out its demand, it will “take any action within its laws’’ to prevent CNN from aggravating the #EndSARS crisis.
The petition dated Nov. 23 and personally signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
CNN in the “investigative’’ report had alleged that it ”uncovered that Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters” at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, during the #EndSARS protest.
The report entitled ‘How a Bloody Night of Bullets Quashed a Young Protest Movement’ was aired on Nov. 18 by the international news organisation.
“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
“In the first instance, the report did not live up to the most basic of the core principles of journalism – balance and fairness,’’ the minister wrote in the petition.