The International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, is an independent, nonprofit news agency that seeks to promote transparency and accountability through robust and objective investigative reporting. The ICIR’s mission is to promote good governance and entrench democratic values by reporting, exposing, and combating corruption. The Center is envisioned to be a catalyst in encouraging and fostering a tradition of journalistic excellence through creative investigative reporting, online publishing, and training programs.
Dr. Etim Anim, Chairman
Etim Anim is Associate Professor in the department of Communication, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar. He graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka with a BA in Journalism in 1974 and was best graduating student in his class. He holds an MA in Communications, University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA and a PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Uyo. Anim has had a brilliant career in journalism both as a practicing professional and in the academia. He was editor, Sunday Chronicles from 1979 – 1982 and became the daily paper’s editor in chief in 1984. He was also executive editor and chief executive officer of Pioneer was at different times associate editor and deputy general editor at the Newswatch Magazine.
Anim has also had a fulfilling career in the academia and is at present a lecturer and associate professor in the Communications department of the Cross River University of Technology Calabar. Between 1998 and 2006 he was a senior lecturer in the Communications Art department of the University of Uyo. Also an author, Anim has written five books, eight book chapters, 17 journal articles and presented seven conference papers. Among the books he has written are Creative News Writing: Writing the News for the 21st Century, The Centenarian and Editorial Writing. He has also penned hundreds of newspaper and newsmagazine articles and signed columns dating back to the 1970s. As an academic, he is actively involved in university administration and has been head of the Communications department, Cross River University of Technology. He is also member of the University Senate, the University Orator and editor, The CRUTECH Annual, the University’s formal compendium.
Mr. Femi Falana, member
Femi Falana, lawyer and human rights activist, 51, is a notable constitutional lawyer, human right activists and President of West African Bar Association, WABA. Born in Ilawe, Ekiti State, he studied Law at the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University. He has been head of Femi Falana Chambers since 1991. He was president, National Association of Democratic Lawyers, member, National Executive Committee, Nigerian Bar Association, council member of Pan African Lawyer Union, external member of Editorial Board, Thisday Newspaper, member of Network for the Defence of Journalists in West Africa.
Falana is acknowledged as a credible and consistent voice in the ongoing campaign for a just rule of law and a more open and transparent government in Nigeria. He is highly regarded as a strong and effective pillar against rights abuses and tyrannical rule as well as an advocate of good governance in Nigeria and across Africa. No less significant is Falana’s contributions to legal development in Nigeria and outside the country. In his dual capacities as the Editor-in-Chief of the Weekly Reports of Nigeria (WRN) and Ghana Monthly Law Reports, Femi Falana is daily pre-occupied with making available to our legal practitioners, judges and other stakeholders in the administration of justice, decisions of superior courts of records of Nigeria and Ghana.
Alhaji Adegboyega Arulogun, member
Alhaji Adegboyega Arulogun is a respected Film and Television professional. He managed the television production services of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, between 1977 and 1987 when he was appointed the General Manager of NTA Channels 5 and 10 in Lagos. Later that year, he moved to the then NTA Ikeja, Channel 7.
In May 1988, he was appointed Commissioner for information and Culture of Oyo State. He served there till January 1992 having also headed the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Works and Transport. He returned to NTA, after his service with Oyo State, as an Assistant Director in the Marketing Department.
In 1975, Alhaji Arulogun co-produced with Mainz Television, Helsinki, Finland The Open Door whichwon a mention at the 1976 West Berlin Film Festival.
He also co Produced Nigeria A Squandering of Riches with Richard Taylor for the BBC Television and it won first place in the documentary section of the 1985 Geneva Television Festival. He was the Production co-coordinator on the BBC-WETA-NTA Production of Ali Mazrui’s The Africans and Basil Davidson’s Africa. He was co-editor of two feature Films – Wole Soyinka’s Kongi’s Harvest (1970) and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (1971) produced by Calpenny Nigeria Films Ltd.
Arulogun retired from NTA in October 1994.
Ms. Amina Salihu, member
Amina Salihu is a Political scientist, women’s empowerment consultant, human rights activist and farmer. She is co editor of the epic analysis of women’s experiences in politics in Nigeria; Women, Marginalisation and Politics in Nigeria (2003).
Amina worked for the West Africa focused organisation, Centre for Democracy and Development as head of Abuja office and manager, gender, human rights and environment through which she worked with women and youth in the Niger Delta and northern Nigeria on political participation and advocacy.
In 2004, she was appointed Special Assistant, social sector and later Senior Special Assistant Information and Strategy to the FCT Minister. As advisor to the Minister, Amina led the team which developed the FCT Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (FEEDS) and designed the Abuja Town Hall meetings amongst other participatory governance. Amina was Coordinator of the DFID (UK AID) Coalitions for Change (C4C) Programme from September 2007 to April 2011. C4C is a £7.4m Nigerian led initiative designed to create spaces where voices connect for institutional change across government, private sector and civil society. Amina has written extensively on the rights of women and young people, and on issues of interfaith dialogue and harmony. She has travelled globally working with an international network and in conflict zones. She is a member of the Africa Feminist Forum and co chair of the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund.
Mr. Fisan Bankale, member
Mr. Oluwafisan Babatunde BANKALE is currently Policy Officer/Focal Point, ECOWAS Advisory Board on Small Arms and Light Weapons where he gives policy support in political affairs, peace and security.
In 1985, Mr. Bankale joined the Sketch Press Limited as Senior Sub-Editor and later became Editor (’93-97) and then Editor-in-Chief/CEO (’99-’00). During the campaign to enthrone Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria in the 1990s, he provided technical and managerial leadership that contributed to making the Daily Sketch a major player in that epic struggle. He was Consultant to several agencies in the United Nations System for many years and staff worked for about five years as National Adviser to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). He is an exemplar of professionalism in journalism.
Mr. Bankale is a Chevening Scholar (’91)and an alumnus of the United Nations University International Leadership Academy in Jordan, University of Wales in the UK, University of Ibadan and University of Ife now Obafemi Awolowo University both in Nigeria. Mr. Bankale is married to Dr. Oyetayo BANKALE and they have four children.
Mr. Wale Fatade, member
Wale Fatade’s journalism career started as a newspaper vendor in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital while on his National Youth Service Corp assignment. He later worked with The Guardian newspapers before joining others in pioneering Daily Independent newspaper in 2002.
An alumnus of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, where he studied Zoology, Wale was a Ford Foundational International Fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in the City of New York where he graduated with a Master of Science degree in Journalism in 2005. He is a past winner of the Nigerian Media Merit Award.
He has worked as a consultant with some United Nations agencies and the Ford Foundation West Africa office. Also, he was an Assistant Managing Editor with NEXT but is currently involved in training and mentoring young journalists.
He is married with two boys.
Lara Owoeye-Wise, member
Lara Owoeye-wise is a multi award winning Journalist whose experience has spanned over 18 years. She started work at The Punch newspapers in 1993 and has worked at Am news, Tempo and The news Magazines. She crossed over to the electronic media in 2004 where she worked at the Silverbird television, Minaj Broadcast International, and now works with AIT as a senior news editor and news anchor.
Investigative reporting is Lara’s turf and this is evident in the quality of daring stories she has turned out over the years. She is the only female laureate of Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism.
Dayo Aiyetan, member and executive director
Dayo Aiyetan is the founding Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, Abuja. He was a senior associate editor and Abuja Bureau chief of TELL Magazine, Nigeria’s leading political weekly, until May 2010 when he resigned to set up the Centre. A 1986 graduate of Theatre Arts/English from the University of Ibadan, he started his journalism career in 1989 as a Features Writer with Sketch Newspapers, Ibadan. He worked in Concord Group of Newspapers from 1991 to 2000 where he covered Politics and became the head of the political desks of both Weekend Concord and Midweek Concord. During the closure of Concord by the military regime, he taught Investigative Journalism at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Ogba, Lagos. Aiyetan left Concord in 2000 as an Assistant Editor and briefly worked in advertising before the lure of the pen brought him back into Journalism. He joined TELL in May 2001 and was at different times, head of BOB (back of the book), head of Politics Desk, head of Business Desk and deputy head of newsroom. All this time he also acted as the chief anchor of TELL’s investigative reporting unit.
In August 2009, Aiyetan participated in the International Visitors Leadership Program sponsored by the United States State Department which brought together investigative reporters from all over the world for a three week fellowship in Washington and three other cities.
In October, 2010 he returned to Washington as a fellow at the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, NED. His presentation was on “Combating Corruption in Nigeria: The Promise of Investigative Reporting.
ICIR Code of Ethics
Credibility and integrity are the twin values that give news and journalists meaning in any society. A news organization without integrity cannot endure. In the same vein, a reporter whose integrity is doubtable cannot go far. At the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, where our mission is to use our work to promote accountability and transparency in the public space, our values are driven by the highest ethical standards. This code of ethics is like a social contract by which we are bound. And everybody who accepts to work at the ICIR must accept to be held responsible to these ethical demands. Our code of ethics is a guiding principle and draws from ethical policies of other well established news publishing traditions. Different parts of this code applied to journalists, staff and the board of trustees of the Centre.
FAIRNESS AND ACCURACY
We will take utmost care to be fair to all subjects in news stories. All sides of a story must have their say. Fairness is a cardinal requirement in Journalism, more so investigative reporting. If anybody is involved in anything that appears negative or unseemly, an extra effort must be made to get his own side of the story. If any such person declines comment, it should be so stated.
Also, facts must be accurately presented. Facts are sacred. In dealing with sources, document, databases and the Internet, it is not enough to quote the information gotten correctly, an effort must be made to establish its accuracy. Where possible, cross check your facts again and again using different sources. And don’t forget, when in doubt, leave out. It is better not to have a piece of information in your story than to publish falsehood and mislead the reader.
Deliberate fabrication or distortion of facts will not be allowed.
We must as much as possible identify sources of information. We will grant anonymity to a source if he or she insists only if we determine that the information is important and cannot be obtained otherwise on record; the source is knowledgeable and credible; there is a good reason for confidentiality such as threat to life or risk of job loss. Even then, in your story describe the sources in as safe a manner as not to disclose his or her identity and state why he cannot be identified. It might also help to state how much you trust him or have found him reliable in the past. Whatever the case, the supervising editor must demand and obtain the source’s identity and be the ultimate judge of whether anonymity should be granted or not.
A reporter may not make any promises that might impose obligations on the Centre without telling his or her supervising editor.
Also we will not pay a source for information or to obtain a document. An exception can only be if a source needs money for transportation, photocopying or any such similar reasons to obtain a document or information.
Interviews with sources are an important aspect of the work of the investigative reporter. So he has to get it right. Always try to get people to talk to you on record. And ensure that you tell them you are recording your conversation. It is the honorable thing to do. Record people surreptitiously only in exceptional cases such as when they would not otherwise speak to you and if the information they posses is of vital importance.
Although investigative reporting comes with some professional hazards, reporters on the field must always identify themselves if they are working on behalf of the Centre. Never mislead people about who you are or represent. In conducting interview, dealing with sources or seeking and obtaining documents or assistance in reporting a story, the reporter must clearly identify himself and the medium he or she works for. We must avoid undercover reporting as much as necessary and resort to secretly obtaining information only when it cannot be otherwise obtained and if it is of utmost importance for the public to have it. In any case, no reporter can determine to obtain information or documents undercover without the knowledge and permission of the supervising editor. And where extraordinary means is used in obtaining information, it should be so stated in the story. The ICIR will not use fictional names or pseudonyms.
Reporters and editors at the ICIR must do their work with total allegiance to the ideals of the Centre and the interest of the public. In gathering, reporting, writing or editing news, reporters and editors must maintain their independence in relating with sources and subjects of the story. While working on a story, it is not allowed to accept free lunches, gifts, awards, from a source or story subject be it an individual or corporate entity. Avoid conflicts of interest and when you suspect that one might occur, tell your supervising editor.
GIVING AND RECEIVING MONETARY AND OTHER GIFTS
As an investigative reporting news agency with a mission to expose abuse of power or office and acts of corruption, the ICIR and its workers must exhibit the strictest professional conduct. No ICIR employee or any member of its board of trustees may offer anybody, directly or indirectly, any money, gift, service or material with a view to influence anybody in taking a decision affecting the Centre.
Also, no employer of the ICIR or any member of its board of trustees may receive money, gifts, or any kind of inducement from anybody or corporate entity that acts as a news source or provider of information or, in fact, anyone else with a business relationship with the Centre.
No reporter, editor, staff or member of the board of trustees may receive cash or gifts of any type from anybody whosoever with the aim of influencing the publishing or non publishing of any story or other material by the Centre.
Specifically, no reporter may receive gifts at whatever time of the year in whatever guise from anybody or corporate entity, including companies and government or its agents about which he reports about.
Also, no employee of the ICI, particularly editorial staff, may render consultancy services, directly or indirectly, to any individual, private or public agency and their officials as this may throw up conflict of interest issues.
The ICIR is a nonprofit organization and will seek and receive funds from local and international donor agencies, civil society organizations and individuals. The centre will not, however, accept funding or other assistance from politically exposed persons, particularly those facing prosecution. The ICIR will also receive funding from some government agencies or departments for specific programs or activities such as training of journalists. Our accepting funding from any individual or organization will in no way tie our hands if we have to report on their activities. All contributors will have their names published on the Centre’s website except if otherwise instructed.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The ICIR’s policy on conflict of interest is to ensure that at every point in time any one representing the Centre act in the best interest of its values, goals and nonprofit status. Representatives of the ICIR in this context include members of the board of trustees and advisory board, executive director, financial and legal advisers or employee.
The ICIR will not guarantee any personal loans to any of its representatives
No representative of the ICIR, including reporters working in the field, shall accept gifts, inducements, bribes or favours that could compromise the integrity of its work. No cash gifts, offers of airline tickets, holidays, hotel accommodation or other personal benefits may be accepted from persons who might be interested in the outcome of any of the Centre’s reports. No gift in any guise may be received from anyone to influence the direction or outcome of the Centre’s investigative projects.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Anybody representing the ICIR in any transaction or decision making process must disclose any known or perceived conflict of interest to the Executive Director or Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Examples of conflict of interest situations are given below:
- Ownership by an ICIR representative of shares or other capital interest in a company that is or will be the subject of an investigative project or report by the Centre
- An existing relationship between a representative of the ICIR and a subject of the Centre’s investigative projects or reports
- A representative of the ICIR who also has interests in another entity where he or she might have to represent the Centre
- When family and friends are involved in ICIR investigative reports
- If a representative, friend or family member related to an ICIR representative has in an interest in any transaction or contractual agreement that the Centre might enter into
RESOLVING CONFLICT OF INTEREST
- When any representative perceives a himself or herself as having a conflict of interest, he or she shall promptly notify the executive director in writing and make full disclosure of the facts available
- The executive director, depending on the urgency and magnitude of the conflict will determine whether to handle the matter, consult other members of the board of trustees or set up an in house committee to look into the matter.
- Whoever examines the matter will call a meeting of all parties to the conflict of interest to present material facts of the issue. It is then decided if a conflict exists or might arise in future and what action to take to prevent a conflict of interest.