Sowore: Wole Soyinka Centre suspends award for Osinbajo

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The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism has suspended the presentation of award to the Nigerian Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo with respect to the controversy that surrounded the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore by the state security service.

Sowore, the convener of the Revolution Now campaign and a former presidential candidate was detained for the second time last Friday by the Department of State Securities less than 24 hours after his first release, on fresh charges yet to be made public.

Nigerians protested the continued detention of Sowore, accusing the government of disrespecting rule of law.

In a press release signed by the Executive Director, Motunrayo Alaka, WSCIJ stated that the decision to postpone bestowing the Nigerian Vice President with the award for Integrity category was prompted in order ‘to align with protests against the repression of freedom of speech in recent times especially the incident between the Department of State Security (DSS) and Omoleye Sowore.’

The statement added that: ‘The Vice President himself shares this awareness and the inappropriateness of the award at this point.’

The award presentation programme is billed to hold 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.

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