Kemi Busari, Editor of West African fact-checking platform DUBAWA, has been named along with ten other finalists for the 2023 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting (WSAIR) by the board of judges at the 18th edition of the prestigious award.
The news of Mr Busari’s selection was contained in a press release by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) on Wednesday.
His story, which exposed a harmful concoction consumed by many Nigerians, led to the producer’s arrest and shut down of the building where it’s being produced, among other impacts.
The award ceremony will be held alongside the Amplify In-depth Media (AIM) Conference on Friday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, in Abuja.
The conference will feature over 40 speakers, with Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of Premium Times and Founder/CEO of the Centre for Journalism Innovation & Development (CJID), taking the stage as the keynote speaker.
Mr Busari, a two-time runner-up for the award, said the selection is an honour while congratulating other finalists.
“It’s an honour to be nominated alongside other journalists doing great investigative work in the country. I rejoice in witnessing a growing wave of journalists embracing the art of investigative journalism to challenge authority and demand accountability. I say a huge congratulations to every nominee,” he said.
The finalists include reputable journalists like Victor Asowata of The Will Newspaper; Folashade Ogunrinde, a freelance journalist with TV360; Omolabake Fasogbon of ThisDay Newspaper; Sharon Ijasan of TVC News and Marcus Fatunmole of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR);
Chukwuemeka Emenike of New Telegraph; Lami Sadiq of Daily Trust; Ayodele Adeniran of The Guardian; Mary Abayomi Fatile of Radio Nigeria and Kemi Busari of DUBAWA/Premium Times; and Beloved John, a freelance journalist with ICIR. The finalists were selected from a competitive pool of 244 entries.
In addition to Dapo Olorunyomi, notable speakers at the AIM Conference include Umaru Pate, Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere (FUK); Amina Salihu, Deputy Director, MacArthur Foundation; and Toyin Akinniyi, Vice President, Africa, Luminate Group.
Motunrayo Alaka, Executive Director of WSCIJ, emphasised that the AIM Conference and Awards will provide a platform for discussions, knowledge-sharing, and networking to amplify investigative reporting in Nigeria, Africa, and beyond. The conference is a collaborative effort with partners, with the MacArthur Foundation providing funds for the 2023 edition and the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria funding the award program.
The public award presentation, coinciding with the commemoration of World Anti-Corruption Day and the eve of Human Rights Day, symbolises the WSCIJ’s commitment to acknowledging best practices in investigative journalism and their significance for democracy.