Yakubu Mohammed

Entry type: Portfolio

Country/area: Nigeria

Publishing organisation: WikkiTimes, Sahara Reporter, The Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)

Organisation size: Small

Cover letter:

Dear Jury,

It is my pleasure to express my interest in the 2023 Sigma Awards: Young Journalist category. I am an investigative and data journalist with WikkiTimes, a Bauchi-based investigative platform in Nigeria. For my medium, I have authored a number of accountability and data-driven stories that produced impacts in notable manners.

With reference to my journalism career starting as a campus journalist, I have over the years improved my journalistic writing with many of my works published with daring investigative platforms. However, I believe data stories are beyond graphics. They are stories, with rigorous efforts, pulled out from open source data on various platforms.

As a young passion-driven young reporter, I am confident in my ability to use data and tell some stories that hold power to account.

Using journalism that matters (data-driven journalism) to advocate for a sane democratic and transparent society, I believe many of the pieces I am submitting meet the criteria of what data journalism that holds power to account entails.

I’m looking forward to your considerable response. Thank you!


Yakubu Mohammed

Description of portfolio:

**Bauchi-Gombe Road: In Questionable, Shoddy Execution, FG Wasted Over N1bn In Emergency Repairs, Road Still Death Trap**

This is a data-driven story that exposed how the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, in a clear indication tactically siphoned money meant for contruction of Bauchi-Gombe road in Nigeria’s North East, by awarding contradicts to companies that do not have the experise of road constrcution. Some of them are oil companies while some could not be traced.

The road was awarded at varying times between 2018 and 2021. It was awarded to 10 different companies, some of which were even not unfit for the jobs — thus prompting suspicion of misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds.

Data obatined from Govespend totaled the money expended on the road around N928,461,482 million.

However, some few qualified companies who mobilised workers to the highway also did substandard job as some portions of the road keep failing –a situation that justifiably creates rooms for unchecked corporate heist.

Following the publication, a subsidiary of the ministry, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) took over the road and rehabilitated some failed sections.

**Bauchi govt spends above N21 Billion on ‘Security Votes’ within 18 months amid rising killings, kidnappings**

In this data-driven investigation which I ghostly co-aurthored [for security reasons], we chronicled how the Bauchi State government spent billions of naira in what he tagged as ‘secuirty votes’ to contain worsening insecurity frequently claiming locals’ lives.

As the goveernment clamied to be spending much to tame insecurity, citizens also paid billions to bandits who kidnapped their loved ones.

When a state is pending more of secuirty votes on insecurity, it is expected that the trend reduced to a significant level. However, a security expert I spoke to belives the scheme is ‘legal means of broad daylight stealing.’

Although, insecurity is still trending in Bauchi, but how story informed citizens what was being done aimlessly to combact it.

Due to the fact we are prone to attack within Bauchi, myselft and a collegaue of mine who worked extensively on the report were not ghosted.

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