In what appears an indictment on the Buhari administration, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has shunned an integrity award ceremony organised by Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, WSCIJ, citing the re-arrest of Sahara Reporters publisher as one of his reasons for rejecting the honour.
There have been calls from several quarters for lawyers in the Buhari government to speak against attempts by operatives of State Security Service, SSS, to arrest Mr Sowore inside the court last week.
Mr Osinbajo, a professor of law, however wrote to the center to explain his reasons for avoiding the event, it would be insensitive of him to attend the event in view of recent developments regarding the re-arrest of Mr Sowore.
“I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to me,” he wrote to the center.
“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 case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony”
“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organizing team. God bless you.”