The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism has suspended the presentation of an award to the Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo concerning the controversy that surrounded the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore by the Department State Service.
Wole Soyinka Centre was reported to have suspended Honouring the Vice President, in protest of the continued detention of Mr Sowore, the convener of the Revolution Now campaign and a former presidential candidate.
Mr Sowore who was detained for more than a hundred days was released on Thursday night after Court order but was again re-arrested for the second time last Friday by the DSS on fresh charges yet to be made public.
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: ‘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 6 pm. 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.