The Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN) has objected to the request by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution of Victims of SARS Related Abuses, for its team of reporters to appear before it on Saturday, December 12, to give evidence on their reportage of the #EndSARS Lekki shooting.
Recall that the media house carried out a detailed investigation into the October 20 gunshot incident at the Lekki tollgate and shared its findings in a two-part documentary released in November. In the reports, the media house alleged that the military fired live ammunition at the #EndSARS protesters, an allegation the Federal government and the Nigerian Army have consistently denied.
At the ongoing panel of inquiry investigating the October 20 incident, the media house was invited to come and give evidence on the findings of its independent investigation.
In a letter written by its lawyers, Messrs.Olumide Babalola LP, the international news outfit said the Panel lacks jurisdiction to summon its staff since they are not in Nigeria. The media house filed the objection dated 4th December 2020 at the Tribunal on December 9, 2020.
The letter of objection reads in part
“Since the Objectors are not “persons in Nigeria” as envisaged by the provision of section 5(c) (of Tribunals Of Inquiry Law Of Lagos State, Cap. T6), then this Honourable Tribunal is, with respect, bereft of territorial jurisdiction to compel their attendance to give evidence before it.”
According to Babalola, the panel invited him into its Private Hearing Room this morning and subsequently excused CNN from further proceedings or appearing before the Panel.