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‘Fisayo Soyombo wins major global award with Ikoyi prison undercover investigation

‘Fisayo Soyombo wins major global award with Ikoyi prison undercover investigation
February 10
15:54 2021

‘Fisayo Soyombo, pioneer editor of TheCable, has won the 2020 Fetisov Journalism Awards for outstanding investigative reporting.

His undercover investigation on Nigeria’s criminal justice system is among the 12 winning entries announced on Wednesday. A total of 283 works were entered from across 77 countries under four categories.

Soyombo, who recently founded the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), clinched the second prize in the outstanding investigative reporting category.

In a three-part series published on TheCable, he highlighted the rot in the system. He 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.


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

Philip Obaji of SaharaReporters was the second Nigerian among the 12 winners. His story, ‘The Child Refugees Sold Through Facebook’, won the third-place prize in the outstanding contribution to peace category.

FJA announced the winners from a shortlist of 35 works, including from Kelechukwu Iruoma and Ruth Olurounbi, whose joint entry on oil spill pollution in the Niger Delta, published on TheCable.


“The competitive entries were assessed against a set of criteria such as accuracy of information, independence, impartiality and fairness, humanity, transparency, promotion of ethical principles, positive impact on the political, economic or social situation in a particular area, country or globally,” the FJA said.


Soyombo is known for exposing corruption and other ills in the society through his journalism.

In 2020, he won the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism and the People Journalism Prize for Africa 2019 (PJPA) with the undercover report on Nigeria’s judicial system.


He was also named a runner-up for the international journalist of the year award organised by the One World Media (OWM) in the same year.

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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