Idris Akinbajo is a young investigative reporter with the leading Nigerian newspaper, NEXT (234next.com), which was set up in 2008 by the Pulitzer winning journalist, Dele Olojede.
Idris graduated with high honours in engineering, specialising in food technology, from the famed Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in Nigeria. In a relatively short professional career, Idris has caught the attention of the media industry on account of his courageous and professional explorations of the landscape of corruption, human rights abuses, and compromised regulators in Nigeria.
Between 2008 and late 2011, Idris investigated and exposed deeply concealed but scandalous wages of Nigerian law makers; scandalous corruption in the funding of the nation’s nomadic education scheme under the Millennium Development Goals programme of the Nigerian government. This report earned him high commendation and a generous grant from the Investigative Journalism Network IJNET in Washington DC to expand the investigations.
He also uncovered the complex web of corruption in the management of a subsidy fund in the Nigerian electricity and power sector; as well as the extensive corruption involving Ministers and top bureaucrats in the real estate market of the country’s capital city, Abuja.
In May 2011, he co-reported a six-part serial on mind-boggling fraud and cronyism in the management of the oil sector in Nigeria. This earned him the African Investigative Reporter of the Year Award at the just concluded African Investigative Journalism Conference orgainised by the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) at the University of Witswaterand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Idris is a founding member of the just inaugurated Nigerian Network of Investigative journalists.