The award presentation ceremony of the Sixth Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting which held on Friday 9 December 2011 at the NECA Hall Lagos saw the honouring of seven journalists for the merits awards and two individuals for the honorary awards.
In the photo category, Adeparusi Oluyinka of National Mirror Newspaper took the lead in the photo category with his picture captioned – Corporal Punishment lingers, while Sodiq Adelakun a photojournalist with The Punch Newspaper was adjudged runner-up for his picture titled – Electricity at all cost.
Musikilu Mojeed of 234next.com took the prize in the online category with his story – The Philip Emeagwali Series: The lies of Philip Emeagwali. The runner-up in the category was Idris Akinbajo also of 234next.com with his piece titled – Officials plunder nomadic education fund.
The Climate Change category which had no winner due according to the judges to the poor quality of works submitted had a runner-up, Adejunwon Soyinka of Tell Magazine who got the prize with his entry; Sitting on gunpowder.
A six-part series team entry – The Oil Minister Series/Diezani Chronicle written by Elor Nkereuwem, Peter Nkanga, Idris Akinbajo and Musikilu Mojeed of Next Newspapers took the lead in the print category. The runner-up position in this category went to Nicholas Ibekwe of the same media, for his story – The Pfizer Series.
Mr. Idris Akinbajo was announced the WSCIJ-Nigerian Investigative Journalist of the year 2011 for his overall outstanding performance.
Following the Centre’s tradition of best standards, the judges found no work suitable for an award in the radio, television, local government and gender issues categories.
The honorary award of Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence was presented to Mr. Lanre Idowu, Managing Director; Diamond Publications while its twin the Anti-corruption Defender award was received on behalf of Justice Kayode Eso by his son Arc. Olumide Eso.
In her opening speech the Centre Coordinator, Motunrayo Alaka lamented the crises in the Nigerian media and called on all especially credible Nigerians with means to join the programme sponsors the Netherlands Embassy in supporting the Centre financially and otherwise to enable it maximise its potentials.
Although this year’s winners are unlikely to enjoy the opportunity of a sponsored international training abroad which started with the 2010 winners, they went home with the award plaque, a cash prize of N100, 000, a laptop and six-month free internet access.
Guests at the event included the Board Chair of the Centre, Professor Ropo Sekoni, the Chairperson of the Judges’ board Ms. Ayo Obe, President Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Royal Netherlands Ambassador Mr. Bert Ronhaar, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Peter West, foremost photographer, Mr Tam Fiofori to mention but a few.