Into the ‘cracks’ Land (1): RCC Blasts Rocks for Lagos-Ibadan Road Construction, But Ogunmakin Suffers the Injury

Country/area: Nigeria

Organisation: Dataphyte

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 12/11/2021

Credit: Samad Uthman (author & Producer), Sodeeq Ojurongbe (field fixer), Hameeda Buhari (Voice Over artist)


Samad Uthman is an investigative Multimedia Journalist, video editor, and videographer whose work focuses on environment, corruption, and human rights. 

Samad is a multiple award winning investigative multimedia journalist. He was among the 10 shortlisted journalists around the world for Thomson Foundation young journalist award 2021. Samad was also adjudged joint winner of the West Africa Journalist of the Year award at the 2021 West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards (WAMECA) alongside a Ghanaian colleague. He tweets at his verified Twitter account; @sarmerdk2

Project description:

This entry is a 4-month-long Open Source Investigation on how underground vibration is affecting Ogunmakin, an Ogun State community in Nigeria, an adverse action caused by Reynold Construction Company (RCC), a construction company blasting rocks close to the community for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan express road. Using Google Map, the project explains why Flyrocks and underground vibration emanating from the blasting site will continue to endanger the livelihood in the small community.

Impact reached:

After the investigation, the Federal Government’s agency incharge confirmed this reporter’s investigation which spelt that the mining site to the last house in the community is way lesser than the legally documented 3km and also mandated Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) to quit its mining techniques.

Also, many law firms in Nigeria and one in Austria showed interest in taking up the case firmly in the court of law. 

Overall, the report opened Nigerian journalists to the use of OSINT to conduct and minimise cost for such an expensive project.  

Techniques/technologies used:

Adobe After Effect (for animation and motion graphics) and Adobe Premiere Pro for the post-production of the documentary video, Google Earth pro for the mapping and calculating the distance, Google sheet for house census and register for the cracked building, Google book, Academia, Research gates amongst others for papers and journals pertaining to the investigation 

What was the hardest part of this project?

The hardest was getting the affected people of the community to talk because of the fear of intimidation. Also, to get a seismologist to comment and give an accurate comment to the story took another one month. When we later got one, he asked for a million naira (over $2k) to run a vibration test. Due to the unavailability of fund, this reporter had to ask the seismologist for reconsideration and use the google Earth result to look into the investigation. 

This reporter sent more than 10 FOIs. It took more than 2 weeks to understand the laws that protect communities from mining sites. 


All these mentioned are the hardest part of the project, in summary. 

What can others learn from this project?

This investigation taught me better, which I know others can learn from also, that using OSINT, we can cut down cost and enrich our stories with accurate information. The knowledge on how to use these tools can better our reportage in Africa. 

Project links: