A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has received the “Human Rights Defender” award presented by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism.
A former Editor of The Guardian, Lade Bonuola, also received the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence.
Eight Nigerian journalists received awards and commendations from the WSCIJ for their investigative reports.
The 2020 edition and 15th anniversary of the award, took place on Wednesday at NECA House in Ikeja, Lagos.
Speaking at the award presentation, Abigail Ndisika-Ogwezzy, Chairman of the 2020 Board of Judges, said 188 entries were received, adding that the 2020 edition of the award is special because the centre focuses on the use of the “instrumentality of journalism to draw the attention of duty bearers on the need for the country to remain focus on Sustainable Development Goals”.
Ndisika-Ogwezzy said: “This special edition interrogates SDGs with emphasis on the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the steps taken by government to contain it and curtail the aggravated exposure to poverty, hunger, lack of access to education, limited health care, inequality between female and male persons and other issues occasioned by pandemic.”
Damilola Banjo, a journalist with BBC Pidgin, won the “2020 Nigerian investigative journalist of the year” award for her report, titled: “Justice for Sale.”
Banjo also received the award for the first position in the online category.
Ikechukwu Ibe, a photojournalist with Daily Trust, was commended for his photograph that showed the violation of human rights by a security operative.
Victor Asowata, a journalist with Punch newspaper, was commended for his cartoon that portrayed the state of the country’s health sector.
Bukola Samuel-Wemimo, a journalist with TVC, won the television category for her investigative report on how security operatives influence the justice process for victims of sexual abuse.
Habiba Oladapo and Damilola Banjo were commended for their investigative reports on examination malpractice in a school in Lagos State, published by Sahara Reporters.
Taiwo Hassan Adebayo, a Premium Times journalist, was the first runner-up in the online category, while Ibrahim Adeyemi, a reporter with BusinessDay, was commended for his investigative work on corrupt practices in the N-Power initiative.
Adeyemi was also the first runner-up for another investigative report on how illegal migrants pay N200 bribe to enter the country through Sokoto.
Samson Folarin of Punch newspaper won the print category for his investigative report on a certificate scandal involving a former Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi.