Excellence In Journalism: Fisayo Soyombo Shortlisted For Global Award On Investigative Journalism

by Duke Magazine

Fisayo Soyombo, a former editor of TheCable, has been shortlisted for the 2020 Fetisov Journalism Awards for outstanding investigative reporting. Soyombo’s undercover undercover investigation on Nigeria’s criminal justice system is among the 35 entries shortlisted across 21 countries. In a three-part series published on TheCable, Soyombo highlighted the rot in the system. The journalist spent two weeks in detention five days in a police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison, beginning from the moment of arrest by the police to the point of release from prison.

Adopting the pseudonym Ojo Olajumoke, he feigned an offense for which he was arrested and detained in police custody, arraigned in court and was eventually remanded in prison.

Among the finalists are four other Nigerians, Kelechi Iruoma and Ruth Olurounbi, whose joint entry on oil spill pollution in the Niger Delta, was shortlisted under the “excellence in environmental journalism” category.

Their six-month laboratory test investigation revealed how contaminants in the air, water and soil as a result of the oil spills in Ogoniland (southsouth Nigeria) is affecting the health of people and how the cleanup exercise is slow and putting more people at risk of dying.

Philip Obaji of SaharaReporters featured in the “outstanding contribution to peace” category; and Olatunji Ololade of The Nation made it in the “outstanding investigative reporting” category.

FJA seeks to promote “universal human values such as honesty, justice, courage and nobility through the example of outstanding journalists from all over the world.”

It said it awards three winners in each of the categories a joint cash prize of CHF130,000, “the biggest prize in the history of international journalism.”

Fisayo, a multiple award-winning journalist, is known for his reports exposing corruption and other ills in the society.

In June, he emerged as a runner-up for the International Journalist of the Year award organised by the One World Media (OWM) for the undercover report on Nigeria’s judicial system.

Earlier in the year, he was the co-winner of the People Journalism Prize for Africa 2019 (PJPA) for the same report.

Some other prestigious media awards he has won include the Newcomer of the Year at the 2016 Free Press awards, Investigative Journalist of the Year at the Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Reporting and Zimeo Excellence in Journalism Awards.

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