The Cable News Network (CNN) has explained its post on Twitter on October 23, 2020, which reported that “at least 38 people were killed” when soldiers opened fire on peaceful #EndSARS protesters in Lekki, Lagos.
Naija News recalls that protesting youths in Nigeria agitating for the end to police brutalization and extrajudicial killings of Nigerians had in October stormed the streets, protesting the brutalities, humiliation, and extortion of Nigerians, especially the youths.
The protesters demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit under the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police Anthony Ogbizi, using a hashtag: #EndSARS.
On Sunday, October 11, 2020, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, disbanded SARS following a widespread protest from Nigerians worldwide. However, since the announcement that SARS has been scrapped, the protesters refused to leave the streets, this resulted in the declaration of a curfew by the Lagos government.
Following the curfew, soldiers of the Nigerian Army invaded a peaceful protest at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday evening, October 20, killing #EndSARS protesters in the process.
But the army who initially denied involvement in the Lekki shootings, later disclosed that its officers were invited by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to enforce a curfew imposed on the state last Tuesday.
Conflicting figures trailed the shooting with some eyewitness claiming the Nigeria Army killed over 15 people and took away their bodies.
In a tweet two days after the shooting, CNN claimed that “at least 38 people” died during the incident.
The US-based media organization also claimed that at least 56 people died across the country since the protest commenced as of October 22.
But in another tweet on Thursday, November 26, CNN clarified that its October 23 tweet did not attribute the death toll to Amnesty International.
It also said the tweet did not explicitly said those killed were as a result of the #EndSARS protests.
Clarification: This tweet from October 23 did not attribute the death toll from protests in Nigeria to Amnesty International. The tweet also did not make it clear that the death toll was for protests across the country. https://t.co/NAe7IegFrC
— CNN Africa (@CNNAfrica) November 26, 2020