2022 Shortlist

Elijah Akoji

Country/area: Nigeria

Organisation: International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Sahara Reporters, Cross River Watch, Solacebase

Organisation size: Small

Cover letter:

As a data journalist whose focus is targeted at accountability and a corruption-free system where the procurement laws will be well respected and properly followed, It’s my 5th year in the practice of journalism since my university days a mass communication student on a campus where we report campus stories. My inspiration in the field of journalism by the racketeering and unending corruption in the Nigeria system, where contracts are awarded to unqualified contractors without executing the contract. My ideals basically come from studying the Nigeria budget of every year and how this money is been released to the different contractors, the ideas also come from news report by government officials where they give out false claims to the public of executed projects which was never executed. My mentors Mr. Dayo Ayietan the executive director International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Olajide Adelena multiple award winner of the best investigative stories in Nigeria and Chikezie Omeje multiple award-winning journalist and a data science journalist have helped me tremendously in achieving each of my set goals in the field of journalism .

Description of portfolio:

I will like the Jury to consider the following reports for this award, The first link which is a story of How Nigerian SDGs Office Used ‘Imaginary Streetlights’ To Steal Over N1billion Under Buhari’s Nose. This report exposed how the oIfice of the Senior Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), siphoned over 1billion naira in an unexecuted solar streetlight project in Adamawa state Nigeria, a project that disregard the procurement law where four out of the five companies awarded the contract belongs to a single-family. Some of the challenges encountered was how thugs were used severally to attack me while I was in the field with several threats not to publish the report when I reached to the Office of the SSA on SDG. The report has received a lot of recommendations for its well-articulated exposition based on fact and data. The second report I will like the Jury to consider for this award is on a report of how After Spending N6 Billion On Boreholes, Jigawa is Still Without Potable Water, this report exposed how the Jigawa state government lied about providing water to the people of the state, while in reality the people of Jigawa state still drink from well water exposing them to cholera an outbreak which has killed several people in the state. This report exposed how billions of naira said to have been used ended up in the pockets of individuals.

Project links: