Staff of PREMIUM TIMES, Nigeria’s leading investigative newspaper, were generously celebrated at the Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Journalism on Tuesday.
Senior health reporter, Toborie Ovuorie, emerged winner in the women’s category.
She won for her undercover expose on the human trafficking cartel in Nigeria.
Ms. Ovuorie received accolades for going undercover for several months to expose the deadly dealing of the human trafficking cartel in Nigeria.
PREMIUM TIMES’ Contributing Editor, Ibanga Isine, emerged runner up in the Online Category for his reportage on the killings by soldiers at Dangote cement factory in Benue state.
Also, Betty Abah, a journalist, poet and environmentalist was commended for her PREMIUM TIMES report titled Gang-Raped Girl, Gang-Raped Justice: How Nigeria Police Forced Victim to Free ‘Rapists’.
New Telegraph’s Juliana Francis, emerged the Investigative Journalist of the year for her narrative report on the extra judicial killings of suspects by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, across Nigeria.
Ms. Francis who started her journalism career with The Sun newspaper before moving to Compass newspaper then Daily Newswatch also won the Investigative Journalist of the year at the print category for the same story.
Television Continental, TVCs Kelechi Eziwanne emerged winner of the broadcast category thus, winning a grant provided by the family of VinMatin Obiora Ilo of Africa Independent Television, AIT, to do an investigative report.
In a short speech, the chairman of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, Ropo Sekoni thanked the guest who attended and the Kingdom of Netherlands commission in Nigeria and the British Embassy for supporting the awards.
He took a swipe at the presidency for asking Nigerians to congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan for his anti-corruption war in 2013 following the country’s position on the corruption index.
He appreciated the efforts of the judges who selected the nominees and winners from a thousand of entries.
The event which was hosted by Deji Haastrup, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron, began with a drama presentation of excerpts of Wole Soyinka’s ‘The Beatification of Area Boy’.
The organisers tasked broadcast journalists to produce more investigative stories as it was the first time the broadcast category would have a winner in four years.
The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, also honoured the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, and Ademola Osinubi, Managing Director of The Punch Newspapers with an honorary Anti-corruption defender award and lifetime award for journalistic excellence respectively.
Guests at the awards include Idowu Obasa, Babajide Otitoju, Dapo Olorunyomi, Femi Falana, Demola Abimboye, Bolaji Okusaga, Ifeyinwa Omowale, President of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
Others are Michel Deelen , Deputy Head of Mission, Kingdom of Netherlands in Nigeria; Simon Shercliff – British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria; Innocent Chukwuma, West African Representative of the Ford Foundation; and Ms Toyin Adewale-Gabriel.
Full Winners list:
Lifetime award for journalistic excellence
Ademola Osinubi – Managing director of Punch newspaper
Anti-corruption defender award
Social Economic Right and Accountability Project, SERAP.
Local government category
Runner up- Seun Okibaloye [Channels TV]
Winner- Eric Dumo [Punch Newspapers]