WSCIJ postpones Osinbajo’s integrity award over Sowore
The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) said it has postponed the presentation of its integrity award to Nigeria vice president Yemi Osinbajo over the detention of Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore.
“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 Omoyele Sowore,” WSCIJ said in a tweet.
“The Vice President Osinbajo himself shares this awareness and the inappropriateness of the award at this point.”
Operatives of the Department of Security Service (DSS) on Friday re-arrested Sowore barely 24hours after his release.
Sowore was released on Thursday night after a federal high court gave Nigeria’s secret police a 24-hour ultimatum to release him.
The court had on two occasions ordered Sowore’s bail but was denied by the DSS for undisclosed reasons.
Sowore was arrested on Saturday, August 3 after calling for a nationwide protest tagged #RevolutionNow.
Sowore was charged on offences of treasonable felony, money laundering, terrorism and plotting to overthrow Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, the award ceremony will still hold at the Main Hall of NECA House, Hakeem Balogun Street, Off Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja Lagos on Monday, December 9.
Veteran photojournalist Sunmi Smart-Cole and Amnesty International will receive honorary awards while 13 distinguished journalists from print, online, television, radio, photo, and editorial cartoon categories have been shortlisted.
WSCIJ executive director Motunrayo Alaka said the award is to reward commendable practices in investigative journalism by Nigerian journalists.
Alaka said those to be honoured have demonstrated ethical journalistic courage, individual creativity and public benefit in their report on public or corporate corruption, human rights violation, or on the failure of regulatory agencies in different categories.