WOLE SOYINKA AWARD FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
Winning Works 2007
Dirty Contract, Deadly Cargo won the first prize in the print category. Written by Emmanuel Mayah, it is a story of massive contract fraud; disrespect for, and abuse of the fundamental right of the Nigerian people to health. The health sector, being crucial to the well-being of any people, the implications of funds diversion, questionable [or total lack of] due process and allied misappropriations would be far-reaching as all cadres of society would be adversely affected.
Emmanuel reports the cold implications of the multi-million contract scandal on the lives of Nigerians. The process, marked by the use of front companies, deceit; technical exclusion of Nigerian drug manufacturing companies, gross economic sabotage, and disregard for due process would also aid the possible infiltration of a deadly type of Anti-retroviral medication into the country following contracts worth N2.5 billion to certain Indian and South African companies. Investigations exposed the players in this contract scandal and needless to say, involved officials of the Ministry of Health.
Yinka Akintunde & Musikilu Mojeed’s Withdrawal of $14bn oil money rocks Abuja is a story of gross political corruption, bribery, and human rights abuse. It details investigations into the bank transaction (withdrawals) between the Central Bank of Nigeria and Ministry of Finance, the result of which is the story that exposes the mischievous intentions of the Nigerian leadership to fund its personal political agenda, using public funds. This is an infringement on the rights of the people to development as funds meant for development are being diverted to fuelling a group in the society.
Idowu Ogunleye’s photo entry comments on human rights abuse by agents of the state; narrates the needless pain and anguish policemen meted out on women on a peaceful rally for the death of children lost to an air crash. It questions the ability of government to protect its people, and/or allow them exercise their rights, as expected in a democracy.
Idowu’s work won the first prize in the photo category.
The Nigerian Police seem to have a reputation for misunderstanding their mandate to protect the lives of the people of the state as they continually do the opposite. In this photo entry by Akin Farinto, the Police is at their worst again – the picture of a man beaten up to a coma by policemen attests to the refusal/inability of government to provide true security for the people. The harrowing reality is that it could be anyone tomorrow.
This entry won Akin Farinto the second prize in the photo category.
Ilado Pipeline Fire, a story of human rights abuse, government failure, and bad governance won the prize for the Broadcast (TV) category. Lara Owoeye-Wise’s investigations three months into the Ilado pipeline fire blast, and government’s promise to fix the menace of pipeline vandalism, knowing full well the implications for human security and existence – over a thousand Nigerians died at the Ilado pipeline fire inferno – revealed government’s failure to rise to its responsibility, and the harsh implications of this on the people.
The investigation was marked by challenges of insecurity and office bureaucracy which deprived the reporter access to adequate information.
Illegal Arrest by Solomon Adebayo