WOLE SOYINKA AWARD FOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING
Winning Works 2011
The six-part serial, The Oil Minister series/Diezani chronicle, published in Next Newspaper between Sunday 10 April, 2011 and Sunday 7, August, 2011 is a summary of the tangibility of corruption and leadership styles in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, speaks to the corrupt practices of the Minister herself, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The series entitled “Oil Minister in 2.2 Billion bribery scandal” uncovered a brazen scam at the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency; high level corruption and cronyism at the highest policy levels and the failure of Nigerian regulatory agencies in the security and senatorial levels to cross-check the oil minister’s educational background and certificates.
As with investigative stories of this magnitude with huge implications for the country, the journalists were cajoled with inducement of monetary reward to “kill” the stories.
In The Pfizer series published in Next Newspaper of Sunday 2 January, Sunday 9 and 16 January, 2011, Nicholas Ibekwe takes us back to the 1996 Pfizer illegal Trovan clinical trial in Kano, bringing fresh perspectives on officials’ collaboration in aiding the illegal drug trial that killed more than 11 children and left several others in permanent disability.
The report is delicately woven, backed by original documents, showing notable senior government officials in league with Pfizer. He also exposed Pfizer for paying huge sums to lawyers who supposedly were fighting the cause of the poor and helpless citizens.
Through The Philip Emeagwali Series: The lies of Philip Emeagwali, published on 234next.com on November 7, 2010, Musikilu Mojeed has been able to dig up the truth of the matter about the hitherto celebrated and national folk hero Philip Emeagwali.
His investigations into the claims of Philip Emeagwali, hitherto-acclaimed inventor of the internet unravels the tissues of falsehood that have held these claims together for decades.
His report has led Nigerians agitating for his removal from the national postal stamp as a first step towards dissociating with his atrocious character. Mojeed’s tenacity and thirst for truth and justice has won him the first position in the online category of the 2011 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting.
Officials plunder nomadic education funds, published on May 8 and May 15, 2011, is a two-part investigative report of massive embezzlement of funds earmarked for improving the lives of millions of Nigerian nomads at the National Commission for Nomadic education. Worse is the high-level scheming within top government circles to cover up this mismanagement of public funds, and the inability or disinterest of the existing anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria to identify and probe the said corrupt practices.
The implications of this corruption, Idris Akinbajo points out, is that Nigeria may be unable to meet the Millennium Development Goals.
Yinka Adeparusi’s Corporal punishment lingers on published on Thursday February 24, 2011 in National Mirror captures an instance of an abuse of the rights of the Nigerian child. It shows a flogging session in a government secondary school in Ajegunle, Lagos state. Whereas the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) clearly prohibits and urged nations to eliminate all corporal punishment and all other degrading forms of punishment. This is clearly a photo-reporting in support of the enthronement of child rights as a human right.
As a result of this photo-report, the Lagos State government drafted a law prohibiting caning, beating or physical torture of school students, and of workplace apprentices.
Sodiq Adelakun, a Photojournalist with The Punch Newspaper published this picture titled Electricity at all cost in his Newspaper of Wednesday July 6, 2011. It is a graphic summary of the risks that the lack of constant electricity poses to Nigerian citizens. It is also an exposure of failure of governance at the level of infrastructural provision.
Adejuwon Soyinka’s entry Sitting on gunpowder published December 10, 2010 is a direct statement on the looming danger of natural disasters of the sort that occurred in Benue State, like others like this across Nigeria and the implications for an unprepared Nigeria. His investigations into these environmental disasters, is a wake-up call to policymakers to salvage the future of the nation’s existence.