How Osinbajo declined WSCIJ award

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Revelation has emerged as to what transpired prior to the decision of the Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) to suspend the award for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the award ceremony held on Monday.

According to a statement by the spokesperson of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo had written to WSCIJ that he could not receive an award few days after the Department of State Service (DSS) invaded a Federal High Court in Abuja to re-arrest Omoyele Sowore who had been released less than 24 hours.

Although Osinbajo accepted the award, he however told the organizers that “… in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore’s case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony”.

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Osinbajo had been named as the recipient of the Integrity Specialty of the Anti-Corruption Defender Award for his “invaluable work of overhauling the Lagos State Judiciary, facilitating far-reaching reforms in the administration of justice in the state, his work of promoting integrity in the civil society and business in Nigeria and his consistency as a strong voice for promoting integrity in the country.”

The Vice President explained that he would not be on ground to accept the award as he was in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the United Arab Emirate (UAE) where he is a keynote speaker.

“The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.

“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.

“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore’s case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony,” the vice president said.

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