The board of judges for the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting has selected 14 finalists, five female reporters and nine male, for the 16th edition of the annual award whose public presentation will be held on Thursday, 9 December 2021, at NECA House, Lagos, from 4pm to 6pm.
A statement issued and signed by the Executive Director/CEO, WSCIJ ,Motunrayo Alaka, stated that the judges selected the shortlist from 222 entries received during the call for applications. This is the highest number of entries received since the inception of the award in 2005. Ayo Obe, human rights lawyer and chair of the board presented the shortlist of journalists across the print, online, photo, cartoon, television and radio to Motunrayo Alaka, executive director/ceo of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, after the scores collation meeting on Tuesday 23 November 2021.
According to the statement, the finalists who will be honoured at the 16th award presentation event are Abiodun Omotosho of Nigerian Pilot, Benedict Uwalaka of Daily Trust, Ibrahim Adeyemi of Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Kelechukwu Ogu of Rhythm 93.7 FM, Kunle Adebajo of HumAngle, Mary Abayomi-Fatile of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Olatunji Obasa of Punch, Olukunle Akinrinade of The Nation, Omolabake Fasogbon of ThisDay, Sharon Ijasan of TVC News, Taiwo Adebayo of Premium Times, Tessy Igomu of Punch, Victor Asowata of The Will and Zainab Sanni of Agidigbo FM.
It noted that the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting recognises journalists who expose public or corporate corruption, human rights abuses and regulatory failures in Nigeria, adding that It has produced 109 finalists, 52 Soyinka Laureates, and 11 investigative journalists of the year. It has also given 24 honorary recognitions for the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Anti-Corruption/Human Rights Defender Awards.
It pointed out that the award presentation event is held annually on December 9, the World Anti-Corruption Day and eve of the Human Rights Day, to acknowledge best practices in investigative journalism and call attention to its significance for attaining good governance, accountability, and social justice.