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Akinrinade emerges WSCIJ journalist of the year

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KUNLE Akinrinade of the Nation newspaper has emerged the Nigerian Investigative Reporter for the 2021 Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) awards.

Akinrinade, who heads the Weekend crime desk of the Nation, clinched the coveted price on Thursday evening with his five-part entry, “Soldiers escort herdsmen to Ogun villages, flog residents for rejecting herders.”

The story detailed how soldiers brutalised villagers in Yewa North Local Government Area, Ogun State, forcing them to flee to the neighbouring Republic of Benin. It exposed the impunity of soldiers against locals.

“I almost backed out of the story due to the pressure. There were a lot of pressures from the federal authority, the state government, 81 Division of Nigeria Army that tried to ensure I did not progress with that story,” he said, while receiving the award in Ikeja, Lagos.

The reporter had earlier won the print category of the award where he beat Omolabake Fasogbun of Thisday and Tessy Igomu of Punch Newspapers to the award. Fasogbun clinched the runner-up prize while Igomu was commended for her work.

In the radio category, no work was commended. However, Zainab Sanni of Agidigbo 88.7 FM and Kelechukwu Ogu of Rhythm 93.7 were announced as first and second runner-up for the award. Mary Abayomi Fatile of Radio Nigeria emerged as the winner of this category.

Similarly, in the television category, there was neither any winner nor a runner-up. Sharon Ijasan of the TVC was commended for her work.

Kunle Akinrinade of the Nation receiving the award/ Joseph Olaoluwa
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Victor Asowata emerged as the winner in the cartoon category with no runner-up or commended work. In the photo category section, Abiodun Omotosho of Nigerian Pilot won the award, with Benedict Uwalaka of Daily Trust emerging as the runner up and Olatunji Obasa of The Punch getting his work commended.

Taiwo Adebayo of Premium Times had his work commended while Ibrahim Adeyemi of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism emerged as a runner-up. Kunle Adebajo of HumAngle won the category.

Akinrinade said he was grateful to the management of Vintage Press for the opportunity to express himself. He charged the authorities to do well to safeguard the people in the future. Similarly, he advised journalists to hold authorities accountable to cause a change in the society.

Programme officer of the WSCIJ Samson Ademola offered the vote of thanks.

“I congratulate all the winners tonight. We are particularly excited about the work you do in the media and civic space in the media and we are hopeful that this award will encourage you to do more within the space you occupy,” he said.

Author profile

Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to jolaoluwa@icirnigeria.org

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