A human rights lawyer, Kenechukwu Okeke, has threatened to file a criminal complaint against all members of staff of Cable News Network, CNN for releasing the report of its investigative findings on the shooting of peaceful protesters in Lekki, Lagos state.
We reported earlier that CNN released the report of weeks of interviews, analysis and investigations into the shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters by men of the Nigerian Army at the Lekki toll gate on October 20.
Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu confirmed the deployment of soldiers to the venue of the protest, although the Nigerian Army initially denied being at the toll gate, it later admitted its men were sent there but claimed that they only fired blank bullets into the air.
CNN debunked that claim with a series of verified footage from numerous sources including a satellite, and it released the testimonies of survivors from the shooting of that night as well as accounts from family members of victims.
Okeke has now asked the international TV station to retract its report and tender an apology for interfering in an ongoing investigation being carried out by an Independent Judicial Panel of Inquiry.
He also asked a senior staff of CNN, Stephanie Busari who was among the journalists that worked on the report, to appear before the Judicial panel and testify under oath.
The lawyer released a statement on Twitter which read;
“It’s preemptive and contemptuous to discuss, counter, or conclude on any testimony placed before any tribunal established by law, so as to influence the consideration of the tribunal. It is, but wise to await the outcomes of the proceedings holden at the judicial panel.
“It is an affront or impugnment on Nigeria’s sovereignty or judicial processes for the @CNN @CNNAfrica @cnni @cnnbrk to have investigated, concluded or pre-judged issues being litigated or debated before a tribunal established by law. This intolerable, and there must be sanctions.
“I will, therefore, initiate criminal contempt proceedings against all the @CNN staff (without any exception) that deliberately and egregiously impugned the majesty of the courts or any tribunal established by law in Nigeria. Justice is too important to be decided by the media.
“@CNN ought to have testified under oath as witness (es) before the tribunals to establish any such ‘investigations’. Otherwise is a deliberate act to impugn (egregiously) or preempt the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry. We will not have it though, as the courts is sacred.
”Without an exception’ herein includes any person(s) or actor(s) that improperly collaborated on substantive factual and legal issues on @Twitter (or any other social media platforms), outside of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiries (tribunals).
“@StephanieBusari You are hereby mandated to (forthwith) pull down any such contemptuous and preemptive article accessible at https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/11/18/africa/lagos-nigeria-lekki-toll-gate-feature-intl/index.html and apologise to the Nigerian people.
“Failure to abide by this decree, will earn you a criminal suit in accordance with the law.
“Furthermore, you @StephanieBusari is requested to attend the proceedings of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and testify under oath.
“Threat, you can submit your investigations which will afford every party the opportunity to counter or test the authenticity of such by way of interrogatories and cross-examination.”
It's preemptive and contemptuous to discuss, counter, or conclude on any testimony placed before any tribunal established by law, so as to influence the consideration of the tribunal. It is, but wise to await the outcomes of the proceedings holden at the judicial panel.
— KeneChukwu Okeke (@HumanRightsNG) November 18, 2020
Kenechukwu Okeke is the lawyer who filed criminal complaints before a magistrate court in Abuja against celebrities, personalities and influencers persons totaling 50, over their alleged involvement in #EndSARS protests.