Cape Town — Fisayo Soyombo has donated the N500,000 he won from the People Journalism Prize for Africa 2019 to help in the release of inmates awaiting trial.
The undercover journalist exposed the rot in the prison system. He spent two weeks in detention - five days in a police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison - to track corruption in Nigeria's criminal justice system, beginning from the moment of arrest by the police to the point of release by the prison.
According to International Centre For Investigative Reporting, the donation will be managed by The Justice Project, a social initiative of Lagos-based church, Ecclesia Hills.
Soyombo said: "While I am not in a position to help the prisons service clean up its corrupt house, by donating this money, I can at least help to kick-start a process I'm hoping can snowball into prison decongestion through the freedom of scores of awaiting-trial inmates."
"The fund will be used to get adequate legal representation for the inmates, pay fines where needed, and generally support them, with special consideration given to women with babies and those with young families".
Read Soyombo's investigation series about his experiences in prison:
Investigation (1) - Bribery, Bail for Sale... Lagos Police Station Where Innocent Civilians Are Jailed and Criminals Are Recycled
Investigation (2) - Drug Abuse, Sodomy, Bribery, Pimping - the Cash-and-Carry Operations of Ikoyi Prison