Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos
A sergeant with the Nigerian Air Force, Umaru Bashir, has won the 2019 edition of Gani Fawehinmi Impact and Integrity Awards in Lagos.
Bashir beat Borno State Governor Babagana Umaru Zulum and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari, who is the Commander, Inspector General of Police (IGP) intelligence Response Unit, to win the Outstanding Integrity Award category.
Other winners include Dr Kadiri Kehinde, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Mass Communication, University of Illorin and founder and Executive Director at The Grassroots Aid Initiative (TGAI), who won the Outstanding Impact Award. She beat Imam Abdullahi Abubakar, who saved hundreds of Christians from a mass slaughter by militant herdsmen last year by hiding them in his mosque during sectarian riots in Plateau State, and Pastor Tony Rapu.
Murtala Aliyu Ibrahim, Unit Head, ICT/Process Audit and Special Investigation, at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), won the Whistle Blower Award for exposing malfeasance and fraud in the bank’s 2016 Half-Year Income Validation Report. He beat detained journalist Agba Jalingo.
All winners emerged through majority vote of a coss-section of Nigerians and civil society groups.
Governor Umaru Zulum, DCP Kyari, Imam Bakar, Pastor Rapu and Jalingo were all presented certificate of recognition for being nominated.
The Gani Fawehinmi Awards was instituted by the Human and Environmental Development Centre (HEDA) Resource Centre with the support of MacArrthur Foundation in honour of the Late human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Gani Fawehinmi.
According to Mr Shina Odugbemi, who represented the chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, “the awards is aimed at promoting integrity, accountability and whistle blowing in Nigeria, and is conferred annually on deserving Nigerians of imperturbable character, courage, selflessness and honesty.
“The goal of Gani Fawehinmi impact and Integrity Award, is to encourage Nigerians to strive for integrity and patriotic commitment to honesty, justice, truth and fairness in the quest to stamp out corruption in both private and public spheres.”