ICIR reporter, five other Nigerians shortlisted for prestigious journalism prize

AMOS ABBA, an oil and gas reporter at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, has been shortlisted for the annual Fetisov Journalism Awards, reputed to be the “biggest prize in the history of international journalism”.

The shortlist, which was announced on Wednesday, lists 39 journalists from 21 countries, with six of them—the highest number—from Nigeria. Four of the entries had multiple authors.

Abba was shortlisted based on his report, How Nestle Nigeria contaminates water supply of its host community in Abuja, published in April. It exposed how a water factory belonging to Nestle and located in Abaji Local Government, Abuja, led to the contamination of the host community’s source of water, destruction of farmlands and road networks.

Two days after the publication, the multinational company redeemed its pledge to the people by completing a previously abandoned water project.

Abba’s report was shortlisted in the Excellence in Environmental Journalism category. Other celebrated areas are “Outstanding Investigative Reporting”, “Contribution to Civil Rights”, and “Outstanding Contribution to Peace”.

Three winners in each category will share a cash prize of CHF 130,000 (N47.5 million). The grand prize winner will receive N36.5 million, and the runners-up get N7.3 million and N3.7 million respectively.

The mission of the awards is “to promote universal human values such as honesty, justice, courage and nobility through the example of outstanding journalists from all over the world as their dedicated service and commitment contribute to changing the world for the better”.

Names of the winners in all four categories will be announced at the award ceremony scheduled for January 2020, in Luzerne, Switzerland.

Other Nigerians who made the shortlist include Punch’s Azeez Hanafi, Peter Nkanga, AbdulAziz AbdulAziz of PremiumTimes, Damilola Banjo of Sahara Reporters, and Business Day’s Isaac Anyaogu.

Abba was, in September, also shortlisted for the 2019 Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award and then shortly after the 2019 Kurt Schrock award for journalists.

'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

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