Professor Hauwa Abdu Biu is a professor of curriculum and instruction (Science) in the Department of Education, University of Maiduguri, Borno State in Nigeria. She obtained her B. Sc. Ed and M. Ed from the University of Maiduguri and a Doctorate from Kenyatta University, Kenya. A .
The International Center for Investigative Reporting, The ICIR, is an independent, non-profit news agency that promotes transparency and accountability through robust and objective investigative reporting. The ICR's mission is to promote good governance and entrench democratic values by reporting, exposing, and combating corruption. The Center is envisioned to be a catalyst in encouraging and fostering a tradition of journalistic excellence through creative investigative reporting, online publishing, and training programs.
The Factcheck Hub is an initiative of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, The ICIR, aimed at combatting misinformation in society. Established in May 2020 with headquarters in the Federal Capital Territory -Abuja, Nigeria's capital, it is an independent, impartial fact-checking organisation from Africa.
The FactCheckHub is wholly owned and funded by The ICIR, a non-profit organisation promoting accountability and transparency in governance in Africa; thus, it inherits the organisational and governance structure of The ICIR as seen here.
ICIR Board of Trustee
Chair, Board of Trustee, Mr Oluwafisan Bankale is currently a farmer. He is an Ex-diplomat, development, security, and conflict management expert.
As a journalist, Mr Bankale was an Editor, and later Editor-in-Chief/Managing Director at the Sketch Press Limited.
Hauwa Abdu Biu
Wale Fatade is a commissioning editor with The Conversation Africa, a general news magazine by academics. He has been a journalist for nearly three decades. He was a reporter and editor with three newspapers in Nigeria and also had stints in the development sector with some international agencies.
Prof. Abigail Odozi Ogwezzy
Abigail Odozi Ogwezzy is a professor of Mass Communication, a Chevening scholar with many academic and professional laurels. Her teaching and research over the past twenty years were deepened and made manifest with streams of scholarships and grants for research, fellowships and conferences, both local and international. She holds membership and fellowship in various sectoral and professional bodies.
Dayo Aiyetan is the founding Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, Abuja. He was a senior associate editor and Abuja Bureau chief of TELL Magazine, Nigeria’s leading political weekly, until May 2010 when he resigned to set up the Centre.
A graduate of Theatre Arts/English from the University of Ibadan, he started his journalism career as a Features Writer with Sketch Newspapers, Ibadan and later worked at the Concord Newspapers for about a decade. During the closure of Concord by the military, he taught Investigative Journalism at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos.
Arthur-Martins AGINAM is a Nigerian (Abuja-based) Communications, Public Policy and Democratic Governance specialist.
Dr. Aginam earned a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree from University of Nigeria, Nsukka; a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication Studies from University of Leeds, England (on British Chevening Scholarship) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Global Communications and Development from Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where he also taught before returning to Nigeria in 2014.
Code of Ethics
Credibility and integrity are the twin values that give news and journalists meaning in any society. A news organization without integrity cannot endure. In the same vein, a reporter whose integrity is doubtable cannot go far. At the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, where our mission is to use our work to promote accountability and transparency in the public space, our values are driven by the highest ethical standards.
This code of ethics is like a social contract by which we are bound. And everybody who accepts to work at the ICIR must accept to be held responsible to these ethical demands. Our code of ethics is a guiding principle and draws from ethical policies of other well established news publishing traditions. Different parts of this code applied to journalists, staff and the board of trustees of the Centre.
We will take utmost care to be fair to all subjects in news stories. All sides of a story must have their say. Fairness is a cardinal requirement in Journalism, more so investigative reporting. If anybody is involved in anything that appears negative or unseemly, an extra effort must be made to get his own side of the story. If any such person declines comment, it should be so stated.
Also, facts must be accurately presented. Facts are sacred. In dealing with sources, document, databases and the Internet, it is not enough to quote the information gotten correctly, an effort must be made to establish its accuracy. Where possible, cross check your facts again and again using different sources.
And don’t forget, when in doubt, leave out. It is better not to have a piece of information in your story than to publish falsehood and mislead the reader. Deliberate fabrication or distortion of facts will not be allowed.
We must as much as possible identify sources of information. We will grant anonymity to a source if he or she insists only if we determine that the information is important and cannot be obtained otherwise on record; the source is knowledgeable and credible; there is a good reason for confidentiality such as threat to life or risk of job loss. Even then, in your story describe the sources in as safe a manner as not to disclose his or her identity and state why he cannot be identified. It might also help to state how much you trust him or have found him reliable in the past. Whatever the case, the supervising editor must demand and obtain the source’s identity and be the ultimate judge of whether anonymity should be granted or not.
A reporter may not make any promises that might impose obligations on the Centre without telling his or her supervising editor.
Also we will not pay a source for information or to obtain a document. An exception can only be if a source needs money for transportation, photocopying or any such similar reasons to obtain a document or information.
Interviews with sources are an important aspect of the work of the investigative reporter. So he has to get it right. Always try to get people to talk to you on record. And ensure that you tell them you are recording your conversation. It is the honorable thing to do. Record people surreptitiously only in exceptional cases such as when they would not otherwise speak to you and if the information they posses is of vital importance.
Although investigative reporting comes with some professional hazards, reporters on the field must always identify themselves if they are working on behalf of the Centre. Never mislead people about who you are or represent. In conducting interview, dealing with sources or seeking and obtaining documents or assistance in reporting a story, the reporter must clearly identify himself and the medium he or she works for. We must avoid undercover reporting as much as necessary and resort to secretly obtaining information only when it cannot be otherwise obtained and if it is of utmost importance for the public to have it.
In any case, no reporter can determine to obtain information or documents undercover without the knowledge and permission of the supervising editor. And where extraordinary means is used in obtaining information, it should be so stated in the story. The ICIR will not use fictional names or pseudonyms.
Reporters and editors at the ICIR must do their work with total allegiance to the ideals of the Centre and the interest of the public. In gathering, reporting, writing or editing news, reporters and editors must maintain their independence in relating with sources and subjects of the story.
While working on a story, it is not allowed to accept free lunches, gifts, awards, from a source or story subject be it an individual or corporate entity. Avoid conflicts of interest and when you suspect that one might occur, tell your supervising editor.
As an investigative reporting news agency with a mission to expose abuse of power or office and acts of corruption, the ICIR and its workers must exhibit the strictest professional conduct. No ICIR employee or any member of its board of trustees may offer anybody, directly or indirectly, any money, gift, service or material with a view to influence anybody in taking a decision affecting the Centre.
Also, no employer of the ICIR or any member of its board of trustees may receive money, gifts, or any kind of inducement from anybody or corporate entity that acts as a news source or provider of information or, in fact, anyone else with a business relationship with the Centre.
No reporter, editor, staff or member of the board of trustees may receive cash or gifts of any type from anybody whosoever with the aim of influencing the publishing or non publishing of any story or other material by the Centre.
Specifically, no reporter may receive gifts at whatever time of the year in whatever guise from anybody or corporate entity, including companies and government or its agents about which he reports about. Also, no employee of the ICIR, particularly editorial staff, may render consultancy services, directly or indirectly, to any individual, private or public agency and their officials as this may throw up conflict of interest issues.
The ICIR is a nonprofit organization and will seek and receive funds from local and international donor agencies, civil society organizations and individuals. The centre will not, however, accept funding or other assistance from politically exposed persons, particularly those facing prosecution.
The ICIR will also receive funding from some government agencies or departments for specific programs or activities such as training of journalists. Our accepting funding from any individual or organization will in no way tie our hands if we have to report on their activities. All contributors will have their names published on the Centre’s website except if otherwise instructed.
The ICIR’s policy on conflict of interest is to ensure that at every point in time any one representing the Centre act in the best interest of its values, goals and nonprofit status. Representatives of the ICIR in this context include members of the board of trustees and advisory board, executive director, financial and legal advisers or employee.
The ICIR will not guarantee any personal loans to any of its representatives.
No representative of the ICIR, including reporters working in the field, shall accept gifts, inducements, bribes or favours that could compromise the integrity of its work.
No cash gifts, offers of airline tickets, holidays, hotel accommodation or other personal benefits may be accepted from persons who might be interested in the outcome of any of the Centre’s reports. No gift in any guise may be received from anyone to influence the direction or outcome of the Centre’s investigative projects.
Anybody representing the ICIR in any transaction or decision making process must disclose any known or perceived conflict of interest to the Executive Director or Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Examples of conflict of interest situations are given below:
Ownership by an ICIR representative of shares or other capital interest in a company that is or will be the subject of an investigative project or report by the Centre An existing relationship between a representative of the ICIR and a subject of the Centre’s investigative projects or reports.
A representative of the ICIR who also has interests in another entity where he or she might have to represent the Centre When family and friends are involved in ICIR investigative reports.
If a representative, friend or family member related to an ICIR representative has in an interest in any transaction or contractual agreement that the Centre might enter into
When any representative perceives a himself or herself as having a conflict of interest, he or she shall promptly notify the executive director in writing and make full disclosure of the facts available.
The executive director, depending on the urgency and magnitude of the conflict will determine whether to handle the matter, consult other members of the board of trustees or set up an in house committee to look into the matter.
Whoever examines the matter will call a meeting of all parties to the conflict of interest to present material facts of the issue. It is then decided if a conflict exists or might arise in future and what action to take to prevent a conflict of interest.
The ICIR is committed to the principle of fairness and accuracy. Therefore, when we make a mistake, we will promptly correct it.
If the correction is significant, we will explain the change and the reason for it.
In addition, if there is an update to the story, we will provide clarification. And if the entire report is open to question or fails to meet our ethical standard, we will provide clarification signed by the editor.
However, we do not take down any published report without the approval of the editorial board. Instead of removing an article as if it had never been published, we will undertake a fresh investigation to establish the truth.
The ICIR will remove an article only if we discover the entire report is a fabrication and does not count as a piece of journalism. Or if the continuous existence of the published article exposes the person or groups involved to physical harm.
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