By JIMOH BABATUNDE
SATURDAY Vanguard’s reporter, Ishola Kemi Balogun, weekend, emerged the Investigative Reporter of the Year.
He won the award at this year’s edition of the prestigious Nigeria Media Merit Award held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
His story “Police Goes Tough on Mother of Miracle Babies” a series on an acclaimed miracle mother, Precious Ogbonna in Owerri, Imo State, who claimed to have given birth to six babies in nine months, was adjudged the best investigative story of the year.
Elated Balogun, who dedicated the award to the Vanguard family, joined the newspaper in 2006 having cut his teeth as a reporter in The Pointer Newspaper in Asaba after graduating from Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State.
After receiving the award from Yomi Jones, former Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria Airways, Balogun told reporters that it took him three months to unravel the truth and that in the course of writing the story he travelled to several cities in the Eastern part of the country.
He said the search for the truth took him to Port Harcourt, Enugu, Owerri and Aba among other cities in Nigeria.
Balogun added that in the course of his investigation he faced challenges like threat to his life apart from the hazard of having to travel to unfamiliar terrains.
Balogun commended the Vanguard management for giving him the support to do the story as the company paid huge sum of money to carry out DNA test on the six babies and the acclaimed mother.
The story had fetched Balogun other awards since it was published in Vanguard newspaper. He won the celebrity media award 2011 and a nomination for the Wole Soyinka award for investigative reporting, 2011.