The Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) has clarified the reasons behind the postponement of the integrity award Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was shortlisted for.
In a statement on Tuesday, the centre said it was wrong in its use of language that suggested the award was postponed to protest the ill-treatment of Omoyele Sowore, convener of the “Revolution Now” movement.
Motunrayo Alaka, WSCIJ executive director, had earlier said the postponement was “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, Publisher of Sahara Reporters, on Friday 6 December.”
Osinbajo subsequently released a copy of a letter he said he wrote to the centre, excusing himself from the programme.
He had said he could not attend because of his absence from the country, and because it would be insensitive to the plight of Sowore.
In its reaction, WSCIJ said the difference in the use of language was caused by an in-house communication gap.
The statement read: “We were wrong and the Vice-President is right. WSCIJ accepts the statement from the Vice President’s Office as the true position on its intended award to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
“An in-house communication gap caused the difference in the use of language and we accept responsibility for this.
“The WSCIJ stands by its intention to award the Vice President the Integrity Specialty of its Anti-Corruption Defender Award.”