Nigeria: Daily Trust Investigation Editor Wins 2023 Wole Soyinka Award

The Head of Daily Trust Investigation Desk, Lami Sadiq, has emerged the winner of the print category at the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), 2023 award for Investigative Reporting.

Lami emerged winner with her story, which beamed light on organ harvesting in the country’s capital, Abuja, walked home with N300,000, a plaque, certificate, laptop and an international trip.

While Omolabake Fasogbon of ThisDay Newspapers was commended for her work that spotlighted regulatory deficit in the housing industry in the country, Sharon Ijasan of the TVC NEWS won the award for the Television category on her story on human trafficking and Folashade Ogunrinde of TV360 Nigeria was the runner up.

Kemi Busari of the Premium Times won the Online category of the award with his investigation. Others in the category include Beloved John and Marcus Fatunmole, both from the ICIR.

However, Daily Trust on Sunday reports that there was no overall winner in the investigation category for this year as the organisers said the winners did not meet up with the criteria set for the category.

In the Cartoon editorial category, there was no winner, but Victor Asewota of The Will Newspaper was announced as the runner-up, while Chukwemeka Emenike of the New Telegraph was commended for his work.

Also, Ayodele Adenira, a photojournalist from The Guardian was commended for his pictures that captured the plight of Nigerians during the cash scarcity experienced earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Lami, who started her journalism career with Daily Trust, has served the organisation as a reporter for years before she rose to the position of a bureau chief in Jos and Kaduna states.

She was thereafter promoted to serve as the Head of Investigative Desk in Abuja, where she produced multimedia content for all the platforms of Media Trust Group.

Reacting to the award, she thanked Daily Trust for giving her the opportunity and atmosphere to produce stories that hold people accountable.

Speaking at the event, the chairperson for the 2023 Judges’ Board, Prof. Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, said total entries received was 209 but only 99 passed the first level screening.

Giving the breakdown of the 99, she said Print had 29, Online, 45, TV, 7, Radio, 2, Photo, 8 and Editorial Cartoon, 8.

”This shows that most of the entries were not investigative stories but in-depth researches. So, for today’s awardees, their stories showed depth of research, that is, use of primary and secondary data and provision of evidence and documentation); and they demonstrated good journalistic skill through quality reporting and delivery (presentation and writing).”

She said the photo and editorial cartoon entries were newsworthy and the journalists demonstrated excellent technical skills in the use of visuals to artfully and creatively tell impactful stories.

She further said, ”After the rigorous selection process, the 2023 judges’ committee presented a list of journalists selected from the 99 entries received to WSCIJ.

”Looking at some of the processes the journalists went through to tell their stories, we submit that in the face of threat and resistance by state and non-state actors who were the ‘protagonists’ in the stories, Nigerian journalists have shown resilience and creatively used innovation and technology to uncover the truth. And light was shone on issues of public interest as most of the stories threw light on clandestine activities, public or corporate corruption, human rights violation, and or the failure of regulatory agencies.

”These stories dealt with human-interest issues that affect Nigerians the most, and if addressed, will curtail the aggravated exposure to poverty (in fact, multidimensional poverty), hunger, lack of access to education, poor access to quality health care, human right abuses, inequalities between female and male persons and other issues that have kept our nation having motion without movement.

”Therefore, the journalists who made the list for the awards have, in the course of their duties shown passion, uncommon innovation and profundity, ethical journalistic courage, individual creativity and public benefit in their reports. As such, we salute their uncommon courage and irreproachability.”