THE International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) has rewarded outstanding staff members for their efforts towards the progress of the organisation.
The awards presentation was held at the two-day annual retreat of the organisation held at Bolton White Hotel on Thursday and Friday.
The winners were awarded cash prizes and plaques for their outstanding performances in the past year.
Presenting the awards, the Executive Director of The ICIR, Dayo Aiyetan, commended all the staff members for their immense efforts.
Aiyetan noted that the awards were meant to encourage staff members that had demonstrated diligence, resilience and commitment, as well as those who had produced excellent stories during the year.
The editor, Victoria Bamas, noted that selection of the awardees was a rigorous exercise as all the members of the staff performed excellently.
Bamas commended all members of staff for their efforts towards the progress of the organization and urged them to put in more efforts this year.
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Blessing Otoibhi, a social media manager and Allahde Odeh, an office assistant at The ICIR jointly won the overall Staff of the Year awards.
Both staff members were considered winners based on their punctuality, commitment and diligence to work.
A senior investigative reporter, Marcus Fatunmole, who heads the Health and Solution Journalism desk clinched the ’Reporter of the Year’ award.
Fatunmole, who holds a Higher National Diploma in Mass Communication, has over 10 years experience working in the print, online and broadcast media.
He was rewarded for his outstanding reports which generated impacts and held power to account. Such reports included his three-part investigative series on Pastor who charged his congregation about N310,000 in preparation for rapture and N350,000 to acquire the holy spirit.
Shehu Olayinka, who heads the social media unit, emerged the first runner-up for the ‘Reporter of the Year’ award.
Olayinka, who is also a fact-checker and data journalist, has over four years experience in journalism with a track record of overseeing every aspect of news publishing, from research, news collection/sourcing, editing and distribution.
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He was rewarded for his exemplary data-driven special reports and well-analyzed fact-checks, such as his fact-check on Buhari’s claim on his performance as the president and his data-driven report on how floods caused havoc across the country.
Others that were commended are Lama Queen Godoz of the video unit, and Nurudeen Akewushola of FactCheckHub.
Otoibhi thanked the organisation for finding her worthy of the award.
She said, “I am incredibly honoured to receive such an award. It humbles me so much to see that all the work I do does not go unrecognized. It simply takes classic hard work and dedication, and I know too well you have what it takes.
“It has not been all swift and easy. I have experienced challenges that tempted me to give up, but I never looked back.
“Through all the challenges I encountered, I only grew stronger. Today, I can see they have only shaped a professional out of me who is focused on the goal without turning away.”
She thanked her team members for their support and promised to keep doing her best for the organisation.
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Olayinka also commended the management and noted that the recognition would spur him to put in more effort.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.