Damilola Banjo, The Transverse’s founder has been shortlisted for the 2019 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism.
Damilola who works with Sahara Reporters was shortlisted from 194 entries received for the award. She made the shortlist after three attempts.
According to a statement released by Motunrayo Alaka, the Executive Director/CEO of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), “thirteen journalists from print, online, television, radio, photo, and editorial cartoon categories” were shortlisted for the award.
According to the statement, the journalists who were shortlisted include: Chinwe Agbeze of The Sun, Damilola Banjo of Sahara Reporters; Samson Folarin of The Punch; Sharon Ijasan of TVC News; Isine Ibanga of The Next Edition; Samuel-Wemimo Bukola of TVC News; Oladimeji Ramon of Punch; Mary Abayomi-Fatile of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN); Ayodele Adeniran of Guardian; Saheed Olugbon of The Punch; Albert Ohams of The Sun; Chikezie Omeje of International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR); and Odutayo Odusanya of The Punch.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, will be presented the Integrity specialty of the Anti-Corruption Defender Award for his invaluable work of overhauling the Lagos State Judiciary; while veteran photojournalist, Sunmi Smart-Cole, will be honoured with the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence in recognition of his outstanding contribution to journalism especially his beautiful and evincing pictures during the military era in Nigeria.
Likewise, Amnesty International – a global movement promoting human rights in Nigeria and beyond, will be honoured with the Human Rights Specialty of the Anti-Corruption Defender Award for its remarkable voice against human rights violations and oppressive laws, and its efforts to defend freedom of expression in Nigeria.
The award is slated for Monday, 9th December 2019 by 6pm at NECA House, Lagos. It is held annually on December 9 – the World Anticorruption Day and eve of the Human Rights Day, to acknowledge best practices in investigative journalism and call to its attention for attaining good governance, accountability, and social justice.
Founded in 2005 and named after Professor ‘Wole Soyinka in recognition of his life-long work in support of the freedom of expression, freedom to hold opinion, and freedom to impart them without fear or favour and without hindrance or interference; the WSCIJ through the award has produced 91 finalists, 9 investigative journalists of the year and 20 honorary awards recipients.
The WSCIJ runs social justice programmes aimed at exposing corruption, regulatory failures and human rights abuses with the tool of investigative journalism.
Damilola had also been shortlisted for the 2019 Festisov Journalism Award; a finalist for the 2019 Young Journalist category and a finalist for the 2019 Kurt Schork Memorial Awards.