Sikiru Obarayese, the DAILY POST reporter who was beaten, arrested and charged by the police during the End SARS memorial on October 20, 2021 has been shortlisted for the Courage in Journalism Award.
The Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) informed the journalist in a letter dated November 15, 2021.
Dr. Yila Umaru, Board Chairman, said the Nigerian non-governmental organisation is passionate about issues of press freedom and journalists’ safety.
Umaru explained that this brought about its development of the Africa Press Freedom Tracker which documents press freedom violations on the continent.
The chairman said AMDF introduced the honour to recognize journalists who have demonstrated courage by going the extra mile, despite the odds, to source stories.
“The Board, therefore, wishes to inform you that it is honouring you with the 2021 AMDF Courage in Journalism Award”, he wrote.
The award will be presented to Obarayese on December 7, 2021 at the 5th Africa Conference on Development Journalism.
During the End SARS one year anniversary, the police in Lagos, Osun and some other states attacked unarmed civilians and journalists.
The United States-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned the incidents and called for the sanction of officers responsible “to send a signal that such behaviour will not be tolerated”.
Police officers hit Obarayese on the order of Chief Superintendent Oyegbade Akinloye, Dugbe Division DPO, and arraigned him on trumped-up charges.
Magistrate A. O. Daramola of the Osogbo Magistrate Court condemned the police for using excessive force against the pressman and other citizens.
Daramola struck out the case after asking the prosecutor to mention the part of the constitution that proclaims recording a police officer or station a criminal offence.
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