By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) on Monday removed name of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, from its 2019 award recipients.
It was gathered that Osinbajo’s alleged silence on actions of Department of State Security (DSS) towards Omoleye Sowore, Convener of RevolutionNow, made the highly revered centre to exclude him from the list earlier published.
In a statement by Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Motunrayo Alaka, the center stressed that the postponement was decided on by the Centre as a mark to align with protests against the repression of freedom of speech in recent times in Nigeria especially Sowore’s re-arrest in court.
It said: “The Vice President himself shares this awareness and the inappropriateness of the award at this point.
“The award presentation programme will hold as scheduled on Monday, 9th December 2019 by 6pm. 13 journalists from print, online, television, radio, photo, and editorial cartoon categories will be celebrated.
“Veteran photojournalist, Sunmi Smart-Cole and Amnesty International Nigeria will also be presented honorary awards of the Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence and the Anti-Corruption Defender Award (Human Rights Specialty) respectively.
“The WSCIJ holds the award presentation event on December 9, the World Anti-Corruption Day and eve of the World Human Rights Day to highlight the importance of investigative reporting as a tool for accountability, good governance and social justice in a democracy. The award event is free to attend for members of the general public”.