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WOLE SOYINKA CENTRE HONOURS JOURNALISTS, OTHERS ON WORLD ANTI-CORRUPTION DAY

By Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigaive Journalism
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Fifteen journalists joined the list of finalists for the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting at the award presentation ceremony on Tuesday 9 December 2014 in Lagos. Of the fifteen, eight have earned themselves the honour of being called Soyinka Laureates, four made the runners-up list and three were commended for their efforts. The winners were unveiled at the ninth edition of the annual programme hosted by the investigative journalism centre, in commemoration of the world anti corruption and the international human rights days.

Fisayo Soyombo won the online category with his work - Blood on the Plateau, published on Flair Nigeria. Tobore Ovourie of Premium Times clinched the report women category with her story, Inside Nigeria's ruthless human trafficking mafia. Juliana Francis of the New Telegraph was rewarded with the top space in the print category as well as the overall best prize with her report, Extra-judicial killings in SARS. The work, pupils in Oyo community school drink cattle urine, take turns to learn in class, published by the Punch won Dumo Eric the local government award. The duo of Olatunji Ololade and Olukunle Akinrinade of the Nation, took the health category prize home with their report, Deadly potions: Nigeria's herbal gin nightmare. The winner of the photo prize is Kunle Ajayi of the Daily Independent with his piece, Ordeal of rural dwellers. National Mirror's Femi Adedeji was the laureate for the cartoon category with his work titled Haram. Finally, the four year jinx of lack of awards in the broadcast television category was broken by Emekalam Ezianne, a reporter with Television Continental with her story – War without end.

The runners-up up were Seun Okinbaloye of the Channels Television, Nurudeen Oyewole of Weekly Trust, Ibanga Isine of Premium Times and the duo of Olatunji Ololade and Olukunle Akinade of the Nation. They were second in the local government, health, online and print categories respectively. On the other hand, Falayi Olakunle of the Punch, Alber Ohams of the Sun and Betty Abah of Premium Times were commended in the print, cartoon and report women categories respectively. The climate change, broadcast radio and sports categories failed to produce finalists. Mr Ademola Osinubi of the Punch was named recipient of the honorary Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence while the Socio-Economic Rights Accountability Project (SERAP) received the Anti-corruption defender award.

A number of innovations were introduced in this year's award. First is the commencement of an electronic entries collation and assessment method. This has reduced work turnover time as the Centre now compiles and sends entries to judges electronically. The innovation also helps the Centre expand the judges' board to persons outside the country. Secondly, the report women category was introduced in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy in a bid join the global call for attention to the plight of girls and women. The award is part of a larger project which the Centre commenced earlier in the year. Another addition is the half a million naira VinMartin Ilo grant given to the best work in the broadcast category for the purpose of conducting an investigative work.

The 2014 judges' board was chaired by a Professor of Mass Communication, Lai Oso. Other members include Ms Amma Ogan, former Editor of The Guardian Newspaper; Mr Boye Ola, head of the photo department at the Nigeria Institute of Journalism; Mr Theophilus Abbah, Sunday Editor with Media Trust; Mr Gbile Osadipe, director of Picture Perfect; and veteran photographer, Mr Tam Fiofori. According to the judges, “the award submissions not only attest to the respect that journalists have for the award, but also reveals a real interest in investigative journalism.”

With the quality of stories that emerged from the winning entries, the WSCIJ has once again proven that it is committed to its mission of building a society where social justice is promoted. As the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Simon Shercliff, observed in his goodwill message, “only brave and principled media reporting can transform a society.” Similarly, Mr. Michel Deelan, Deputy Head of Mission, Kingdom of Netherlands, encouraged the need to fan to flame the passion for investigative reporting in Nigeria. He expressed his country's readiness to continue to give support to further this cause. Prof Ropo Sekoni in his opening speech reiterated the need for the Nigerian government to get serious with the fight against corruption.

The 2014 awards event was compered by Mr. Deji Haastrup, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron while Ms Motunrayo Alaka, WSCIJ Coordinator, gave the closing remark. A highlight of the occasion was a stage performance of Wole Soyinka's The Beatification of Area Boy by the Kininso-Koncepts art group.

CATALOGUE OF THE 2014 AWARDEES

HONORARY AWARD

CATEGORY

RECIPIENT

Life Time Award for Journalistic Excellence

Mr Ademola Osinubi, Managing Director, Punch Newspaper

Anti-Corruption Defender Award

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)

MERIT AWARDS

S/N

CATEGORY

WINNERS

RUNNERS-UP

COMMENDED WORKS

  1. 1

PRINT

NAME: JULIANA EBERE FRANCIS

Story: EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS IN SARS

Date of publication: Mon, February 24, March 3, and March 10, 2014

Media: The New Telegraph

NAME: OLATUNJI OLOLADE & OLUKUNLE AKINRINADE

Story: SORROWFUL SONGS FROM OGUN COMMUNITIES

Date of publication: Saturday August 16, 23, 30, September 6 &13 2014

Media: The Nation

NAME: FALAYI OLAKUNLE ARTHUR

Story: AGONY OF A MOTHER WHOSE SON WENT MISSING IN SARS

Date of publication: Saturday January 11, 2014

Media: The Punch

  1. 2

ONLINE

NAME: FISAYO SOYOMBO

Story: BLOOD ON THE PLATEAU

Date of publication: December 28, 29, 30, 31 2013

Media: Flair Nigeria

NAME: IBANGA ISINE

Story: GBOKO SEVEN KILLINGS SERIES

Date of publication: 30 June, 2 July, 17 Sept, 29 Sept and 3 October 2014

Media: Premium Times

NONE

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

NAME: DUMO IDAEREFAA ERIC

Story: PUPILS IN OYO COMMUNITY SCHOOL DRINK CATTLE URINE, TAKE TURNS TO LEARN IN CLASS

Date of publication: June 28, July 5 and August 23, 2014

Media: Punch

NAME: SEUN OKINBALOYE

Story: LAGOS COMMUNITY NEGELECT – ORI OKUTA INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT AND A FOLLOW UP

Date of publication: February 2 & 13, 2014

Media: Channels TV

NONE

HEALTH

NAME: OLATUNJI OLOLADE & OLUKUNLE AKINRINADE

Story: DEADLY POTIONS: NIGERIA'S HERBAL GIN NIGHTMARE

Date of publication: April 12, 19 and July 5, 2014

Media: The Nation

NAME: NURUDEEN OYEWOLE

Story: LAGOS ABATTOIR: WHERE UNHEALTHY CATTLE ARE SLAUGHTERED FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION

Date of publication: December 29, 2013; January 5, 2014 & February 13, 2014

Media: Weekly Trust

NONE

  1. 3

PHOTO

NAME: KUNLE AJAYI

Story: ORDEAL OF RURAL DWELLERS

Date of publication: January 11, 2014

Media: DAILY INDEPENDENT

NONE

NONE

  1. 4

EDITORIAL CARTOON

NAME: FEMI ADEDEJI

Story: HARAM

Date of publication: May 11, 2014

Media: National Mirror

NONE

Name: ALBERT OHAMS

Story: SOLDIER'S WIVES SAY NO TO SENDING THEIR HUSBANDS TO GO AND FIGHT INSURGENCY

Date of publication: August 22, 2014

Media: The Sun

BROADCAST TELEVISION

NAME:EMEKALAM KELECHI EZIWANNE

Story: WAR WITHOUT END

Date of publication: 27 July, 2014

Media: TVC

NONE

NONE

REPORT WOMEN

NAME: TOBORE OVUORIE

Story: INSIDE NIGERIA'S RUTHLESS HUMAN TRAFFICKING MAFIA

Date of publication: January 23, 2014

Media: Premium Times

NONE

NAME: BETTY ABAH

Story: GANG-RAPED GIRL, GANG-RAPED JUSTICE: HOW NIGERIAN POLICE FORCED VICTIM TO FREE 'RAPISTS'

Date of publication: April 15, 2014

Media: Premium Times

VINMARTIN ILO GRANT

NAME:EMEKALAM KELECHI EZIWANNE

Story: WAR WITHOUT END

Date of publication: Sunday, 27 July, 2014

Media: TVC

NONE

NONE

2014 WSCIJ-NIGERIAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR

NAME: JULIANA EBERE FRANCIS

Story: EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS IN SARS

Date of publication: February 24, March 3, and March 10, 2014

Media: The New Telegraph

ABOUT THE CENTRE

The WOLE SOYINKA CENTRE FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM (WSCIJ) is a non-governmental organisation with a vision to stimulate the emergence of a socially just community defined by the ethics of inclusion, transparency and accountability through support to journalists. Initially known as the Wole Soyinka Investigative Reporting Award (WSIRA), the change in name became necessary in 2008 to reflect the intentions of the coordinators to embrace a more robust line of activities that have greater capacity for engendering the right values of investigative journalism in the Nigerian media. The Centre is named after Professor Wole Soyinka in recognition of his life-long work in support of the freedom of expression, freedom to hold opinion, and freedom to impart them without fear or favour and without hindrance or interference.

Signed:

Motunrayo Alaka
Centre Coordinator
08028302436, 07029226323
[email protected]