ICIR’s Chikezie shortlisted for Wole Soyinka Award

CHIKEZIE Omeje, senior investigative reporter of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) has been shortlisted for the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism in the online category where the overall winner will be named Nigerian investigative reporter of the year. 

According to a press statement by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism and signed by Motunrayo Alaka, the Executive Director, on Monday,  Omeje was shortlisted from 194 entries received across newsrooms in the country for six different categories, along with 12 other journalists.

The award ceremony in its 14th edition will be held in Lagos on Monday, December 9, to mark the Anticorruption Day and eve of the Human Rights Day. The aim of the award is to acknowledge best practices in investigative journalism that seek good governance, accountability, and social justice.

In the online category, Chikezie Omeje of the ICIR, Damilola Banjo of Sahara Reporters and Isine Ibanga of Next Edition News made the shortlist.

Two investigative stories Omeje submitted for the contest include unauthorised charcoal production by a Chinese company and a report that exposed how millions of naira released for HIV campaigns, counselling and testing services were siphoned.

His story on the charcoal production pushed the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to shut down the illegal company operated by the Chinese.

Journalists shortlisted for any of print, editorial cartoon, radio, TV, and Photo categories are Chinwe Agbeze of The Sun, Samson Folarin of The Punch; Sharon Ijasan of TVC News, Samuel-Wemimo Bukola of TVC New, Oladimeji Ramon of Punch.



     Others are Mary Abayomi-Fatile of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN); Ayodele Adeniran of Guardian; Saheed Olugbon of The Punch; Albert Ohams of The Sun and Odutayo Odusanya of Mobile Punch.

     Since 2005, Wole Soyinka award has produced nine investigative journalists of the year, while the 10th will be chosen from among the 13 shortlisted journalists.

     Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Amnesty International and veteran photojournalist, Sunmi Smart-Cole, would be conferred with the honorary awards at the ceremony on Monday. 

    Omeje who is on a study leave in Data Journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School, New York received the International Science Journalism Award in October that came with 3000 dollars prize.

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