A story published on PREMIUM TIMES has emerged winner of the online category of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism in Abuja on Saturday.
The winning story, authored by Kemi Busari, the editor of the fact-checking organisation, Dubawa, explored how a Nigerian herbal medicine seller, Baba Aisha, was promoting a herbal concoction with unverified claims of curing malaria and other ailments.
Annually, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) honours and celebrates investigative journalists across Nigeria who use exemplary investigative stories to hold people in governance to account, expose ills and amplify the voice of the most vulnerable people in Nigeria.
This year, ten finalists emerged from 99 entries assessed by the judges out of the total 209 entries received by the organisers.
Speaking on behalf of the seven-member panel of judges, Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika said the remaining 110 were screened out by the organisers before turning the remaining 99 to the judges. The 110 stories were not deemed investigative stories, she said.
She, however, commended Nigerian journalists for the quality of Investigative Journalism despite threats from state and non-state actors who wish to suppress the truth.
Beloved John of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) emerged runner-up in the online category with her story exposing degree mills selling fake honorary doctorates to Africans.
Marcus Fatunmole, also of the ICIR, was commended in the online category for his story exposing an illegal hospital run in Abuja by a North Korean national.
Sharon Ijasan of the Television Continental (TVC), emerged winner of the Television Category. Her story chronicled the sad realities of trafficked Nigerians in Libya. Folashade Ogunrinde emerged runner-up with her story on How Lawyers’ Absence, Slack Laws, Courts’ Apathy Dampen Families’ Hope for Justice.
Lami Sadiq of the Daily Trust Newspaper won the Print category with her story on ‘Organ Exploitation: How Abuja Syndicate Lured Minor For Kidney Harvest.’ Omolabake Fasogbon, meanwhile, was commended in the category for her story ‘Inside Story of Lagos Building Collapse where Regulator Mortgage Lives for as low as N50,000.’
There was no winner in the Photo Journalism category but Ayodele Adeniran was commended for his “Naira Swap” photo, which depicted the suffering of Nigerians during the cash scarcity earlier this year.
In the Cartoon category, Victor Asowata emerged as the runner-up with his cartoon titled “Power Grabbers 2023”. Chukwuemeka Emenike was commended for his cartoon on the failure of regulatory agencies in Nigeria.
Winners in each category were presented with an award plaque, a certificate, a laptop, N300,000 cash prize and an international trip.
The runners-up were presented with a certificate, a smartphone and a N200,000 cash prize. The commended entries were presented with Certificates of Commendation, a 2TB Hard Drive and a N100,000 cash prize.
The centre also presented the 2023 Human Rights Defender Award posthumously to Lai Oso, the late professor of Mass Communication. The award was presented to his wife at the venue.
Qosim Suleiman is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe
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