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Azubuike Ishiekwene (also known as Azu from his weekly column, born February 19, 1965) was the former executive director of Punch Nigeria
Early life and education
Azubuike was born in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ishiekwene of Ndokwa West Local Government in Delta State, he attended Christ The King Primary School, Ajegunle, Lagos (1972–1978); Gaskiya College, Cardoso, Ojora, Badiya, Lagos (1978/79 - 1983) for School Certificate; Jibril Martins Memorial Grammar School, Iponri, Lagos (1983–1985) for HSC. Ishiekwene attended the University of Lagos (Mass Communication) from 1985 to 1988 receiving his B.Sc. in Mass Communications and from 2003-2005, earned his Master's degree in Public Administration and International Affairs from the University of Lagos. He holds a Master's degree in Public Administration and International Affairs from University of Lagos and a BSc in Mass Communications.
Azu joined Punch in 1989 (after serving as an intern in 1986) and has at various times been staff reporter, investigative reporter, features writer, senior features writer, deputy features editor, features editor, and deputy editor of Toplife magazine (a Punch publication). He was also a member of the Punch editorial board, and Editor of Saturday Punch between 1996 and 2001.
He was editor of the company’s flagship paper and daily title, The Punch, between 2002 and 2006, when he was appointed Executive Director, Publications, with direct oversight functions for the company’s three titles – Sunday Punch, Saturday Punch and The Punch. He has won many awards, including the Babatunde Jose Prize for journalism 1988, the Dame Award for Informed Commentary 1993, 2001, 2004 and again in 2006; and Editor of the Year, NMMA 2006.
He was editor, Unilag Sun (a publication of the University of Lagos Mass Communication department); Winner, Babatunde Jose Prize for best print graduating student; serial winner of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) for Best Informed Commentary; Editor of the Year Award by the Nigerian Media Merit Award; Columnist of the Year by the Nigerian Media Merit Award; Outstanding Alumnus Award, Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, 2008. Since coming to Punch, he has at various times served as a staff reporter, investigative reporter, feature writer, senior feature writer, deputy feature editor, feature editor and deputy editor of Toplife magazine. He was also a member of the Punch editorial board, and editor of the Saturday Punch between 1996 and 2001.
From 2002 to 2006, he was editor of the company's flagship paper and daily title, The Punch. As Executive Director, he has direct oversight of the company's three titles: Sunday Punch, Saturday Punch and The Punch.
Ishiekwene, (or Azu, as he is fondly called) is a member of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, and an Associate member of the World Association of Newspapers. Azu is also a member of the World Editors Forum, a board member of the World Policy Journal (a platform of the World Policy Institute), and the current chair of the judging panel for the CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award. He is the author of The Trial of Nuhu Ribadu: A riveting story of Nigeria’s anti-corruption war. Azubuike Ishiekwene lectures part-time at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. He is also a board member of the Global Editors Network since its creation in April 2011.
He is also a board member of the World Policy Journal (a platform of the World Policy Institute), and was recently chair of the judging panel for the CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year Award.
Awards and honors
Among several awards, Ishiekwene has won the Babatunde Jose Prize for journalism (1988), the Dame Award for Informed Commentary (1993, 2001, 2004, 2006), and Editor of the Year, NMMA (2006).
Ishiekwene is the author of The Trial of Nuhu Ribadu: A riveting story of Nigeria's anti-corruption war.
As of 2013, Isiekwene is the chairman of editorial board of Leadership Newspapers based in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja.
An internal financial scandal in March, 2010 led to Ishiekwene's departure from Punch. In early March 2010, Steve Ayorinde, the past editor of Punch, made public allegations that Ishiekwene had forced him to resign his position. Ishiekwene was subsequently replaced on the Panel of Judges for the 2010 CNN MultiChoice African Journalists Awards.
- See WEF announcement on their website
- "Global Editors Network board members". Retrieved 19 June 2013.
- Ibekwe, Nicholas. "Allegations against Punch director sad, says journalism teacher," Next, March 11, 2010.
- Ibekwe, Nicholas. "Ishiekwene leaves CNN judges panel," Next, April 2010.