14 Reporters To Be Honoured At WSCIJ Award Ceremony

The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting is held annually on December 9.

The annual Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) Award has been scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 9  2021, at NECA House, Lagos state. 

Josiah Ajiboye, popularly known as Josy Ajiboye, a veteran cartoonist and painter, the CLEEN Foundation, and 14 outstanding journalists will be honoured at the 16th edition of the award.

A press statement signed by the Executive Director of  WSCIJ, Motunrayo Alaka, said Ajiboye would be decorated with the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence for his remarkably consistent professional exertions in the form of timeless, witty cartoons.

“His works, particularly in his years at Daily Times, which spoke to social-economic and political issues that bordered on social justice, kept the government on its toes as Nigeria struggled through the military era and they remain relevant even today.”

She also said the CLEEN Foundation will be honoured with the Human Rights speciality of the Anti-Corruption Defender Award for its over two decades of work promoting public safety, security, and accessible justice in Nigeria.

“The award also underscores the great contribution of the late Innocent Chukwuma, CLEEN Foundation Founder, who strategically built the organisation to defend the rights of Nigerians to security,” she said. 

Alaka also said the centre, alongside its civil society partners, would also use the occasion to call the government’s attention to address the worrying state of security in the country urgently.

HumAngle earlier reported how the 14 journalists shortlisted as finalists across the print, online, photo, cartoon, television, and radio categories of the award will also be honoured for their stories. 

Nine of the stories focused on Nigeria’s fragile security apparatus, covering extrajudicial killings, brutality by persons in uniform, human rights abuse, armed banditry, as well as the broad issue of insurgency. 

The finalists are Kunle Adebajo of HumAngle, Abiodun Omotosho of Nigerian Pilot, Benedict Uwalaka of Daily Trust, Ibrahim Adeyemi of Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Kelechukwu Ogu of Rhythm 93.7 FM, Mary Abayomi-Fatile of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Olatunji Obasa of Punch, Olukunle Akinrinade of The Nation, Omolabake Fasogbon of ThisDay, Sharon Ijasan of TVC News, Taiwo Adebayo of Premium Times, Tessy Igomu of Punch, Victor Asowata of The Will, and Zainab Sanni of Agidigbo FM.

The selection process 

Alaka said the board of judges for the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting has selected 14 finalists, five female and nine male reporters. 

The judges selected the shortlist from 222 entries received during the call for applications. 

“This is the highest number of entries received since the inception of the award in 2005. Ayo Obe, human rights advocate, lawyer and chair of the board, presented the shortlist of journalists across the print, online, photo, cartoon, television and radio to the centre  after the scores collation meeting on Tuesday 23 November 2021.”

The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting recognises journalists who expose public or corporate corruption, human rights abuses and regulatory failures in Nigeria. 

It has produced 109 finalists, 52 Soyinka Laureates, and 11 investigative journalists of the year. It has also given 24 honorary recognitions for the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Anti-Corruption/Human Rights Defender Awards.

The Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting presentation event is held annually on December 9, the World Anti-Corruption Day.

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Azeezat Adedigba

Azeezat Adedigba is an Assistant Editor/ Lagos Bureau Chief for HumAngle. She is also an investigative journalist and the winner of the 2019 Female Reporters Leadership Program (FRLP) organised by Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). Azeezat is passionate about gender and children advocacy. She has a degree in Mass Communication from the University of Jos.

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