ICIR reports bag awards at 2023 WSAIR

TWO reports of the International Centre for Investigation Reporting (ICIR) have won awards at the just concluded 18th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting (WSAIR) held in Abuja on Saturday, December 9.

A former journalist with The ICIR, Beloved John, emerged as a runner-up for her work, “London Graduate School: The ‘Degree Mill’ selling fake honorary doctorate to Africans”.

Similarly, the news editor at The ICIR, Marcus Fatunmole, received a commendation for his work, “How North Korean runs illegal hospital patronised by the high and mighty in Abuja” in the same category.

The overall winner of the category was Kemi Busari of Premium Times for his work, Baba Aisha Herbal Medicine’: The deadly concoction consumed by many Nigerians.

The award is an annual event first held in October 2005 to aid the development of an investigative reporting culture in the Nigerian media.

It honours and promotes investigative journalists from around Nigeria who conduct excellent investigative stories to hold persons in power accountable, expose evils, and raise the voices of Nigeria’s most vulnerable citizens.

Speaking at the event on behalf of the judges, the chairperson of the panel, Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, said a total of 209 entries were received from radio, television, online, photos and editorial cartoons, out of which 99 were assessed to get the ten finalists.

She also praised Nigerian journalists for their investigative reporting despite threats from state and non-state actors seeking to hide the truth.

“Looking at some of the processes the journalists went through to tell their stories, the judging committee for this year submitted that in the face of threat and resistance by state and non-state actors who were the protagonists in the stories, what they are doing rightly or wrongly because we look at issues around governance, Nigerian journalists have shown passion, resilience and creativity, and also used innovation and technology to uncover the truth.

“Light was shone on issues of public interest as most of the stories threw light on clandestine activities, public or corporate corruption, human rights violation and, or the failure of regulatory agencies,” she said.

She added that the stories were human-interest and tackled issues that affect Nigerians the most and if addressed, would curtail the aggravated exposure to poverty, hunger, lack of access to education, poor access to quality health care, human rights abuses, inequalities between female and male persons and other issues that stagnated the nation.

“Therefore, the journalists who made the list for the awards have, in the course of their duties, shown passion, uncommon innovation and profundity, ethical journalistic courage, individual creativity and public benefit in their reports. As such, we salute their uncommon courage and irreproachability.”

Other awardees are Sharon Ijasan of Television Continental (TVC), who emerged as the winner of the Television Category, closely followed by Folashade Ogunrinde of TV 360 as runner-up.



    Lami Sadiq of the Daily Trust Newspaper claimed the award for the print category, while Omolabake Fasogbon received a commendation for the category.

    Ayodele Adeniran got a commendation in the photo category for his photo story highlighting Nigerians’ suffering during the cash scarcity earlier this year. There was no winner for the category.

    For the editorial cartoon category, Victor Asowata emerged as runner-up while Chukwuemeka Emenike got the commendation award.

    In addition, the Late Professor Lai Oso received a Posthumous Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and Human Rights Defender Award for his efforts to promote investigative reporting.

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