Nigerian minister says CNN should be sanctioned

Nigeria should sanction CNN for reporting that the country's military shot and killed protesters who were demonstrating against police brutality, a government minister said on Thursday (November 19) - but the U.S. broadcaster has defended its journalism.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed claimed CNN had used "unverified and possibly doctored videos" and "information from questionable sources" in the report but did not specify what sanctions the government could bring.

"It went to town with unverified social media footage in its desperation to prove that people were killed at the Lekki toll gate. Again this is irresponsible journalism for which CNN deserves to be sanctioned."

A CNN spokesperson said: "Our reporting was carefully and meticulously researched, and we stand by it."

Thousands of Nigerians took to the streets to protest against the Special Anti Robbery Squad, a notorious and now disbanded police unit.

Though the protests were initially peaceful, demonstrators in an upmarket Lagos district were shot at on Oct. 20 by men witnesses said were soldiers. Rights group Amnesty International said 12 protesters were killed. The army denied involvement.

Mohammed said the government has fined three stations over their reporting of the protests and added that the federal government was "very satisfied" with the role played by security services - calling them "professional and measured in their response".

Video Transcript

- Nigeria should sanction CNN for reporting that the country's military shot and killed protesters who were demonstrating against police brutality, a government minister said on Thursday. But the US broadcaster has defended its journalism. Information minister, Lai Mohammed, claims CNN has used unverified and possibly doctored videos and information from questionable sources in the report, but did not specify what sanctions the government could bring.

LAI MOHAMMED: [INAUDIBLE] with unverified social media footages in its desperation to prove that people were killed at the Lekki Toll Gate. Again, this is irresponsible journalism for which CNN is absolutely sanctioned.

- A CNN spokesperson said, our reporting was carefully and meticulously research. And we stand by it.

[CHANTING]

Thousands of Nigerians took to the streets to protest against special anti-robbery squad and the terrorism now disbanded police unit. Though the protests were initially peaceful, demonstrators in an upmarket Lagos district were shot at on October 20 by men witnesses said were soldiers.

- Everyone sit down, sit down, sit down.

[GUNFIRE]

- Rights group, Amnesty International, said 12 protesters were killed. The army denied involvement.

Mohammed said the government has fined three stations over their reporting of the protests and added that the federal government was very satisfied with the role played by security services, calling them professional and measured in their response.