Sowore: Wole Soyinka Centre protests ‘impunity’, postpones award to Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

In a protest against the treatment of Omoyele Sowore, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism has postponed the presentation of an award to the Nigerian Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

According to Motunrayo Alaka, the centre’s director, on Monday, the postponement was in protest against the repression of freedom of speech in recent times.

“The postponement was decided on, to align with protests against the repression of #FreedomOfSpeech in recent times, especially the incidence between the Department of State Security (DSS) and @YeleSowore, Publisher of @SaharaReporters, on Friday 6 December. #WSAIR2019,” the tweet announcing the postponement read.

The centre said “the Vice President himself shares this awareness and the inappropriateness of the award at this point.”

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Osinbajo and six other lawyers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet have kept mum, publicly, over acts of human rights violations carried out by the current government. Mr Osinbajo is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Embattled activist

Mr Sowore is facing a seven-count charge of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting President Buhari.

On different occasions, the court had ruled that the duo be granted bail, but the SSS operatives failed to obey the court orders.

Mr Sowore, who was arrested on August 3 by the SSS for planning a protest popularised with the hashtag #RevolutionNow, was granted bail for the second time on October 18.

SSS did not respect a previous bail granted the defendant on September 24.

Mr Sowore was released Thursday night but rearrested on Friday morning.

This newspaper reported how armed SSS officials stormed the premises of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to forcefully rearrest Mr Sowore.

The SSS is notorious for disobeying court orders including those in favour of a National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki and Shiite leader Ibrahim El-zakzaky, who have been illegally detained despite court orders granting them bail.

A recent report noted that attacks on the press and free speech had heightened under the current administration of Mr Buhari, an ex-military head of state.


The award presentation programme will hold as scheduled on Monday by 6 p.m., the release added.

About 13 journalists from print, online, television, radio, photo, and editorial cartoon categories will be celebrated.

Veteran photojournalist, Sunmi Smart-Cole and Amnesty international will also be presented honorary awards of the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Anti-Corruption Defender Award (Human Rights Specialty) respectively. Mr Osinbajo was to receive an award in the latter category

The WSCIJ holds the award presentation event on December 9, the World Anti-corruption day and eve of the World Human Rights Day to highlight the importance of investigative reporting as a tool for accountability, good governance and social justice in a democracy.


PT Mag Campaign AD

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...

NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.