The Department of State Services, DSS, finally caved in to enormous pressure when on Thursday it arraigned Nigerian journalist, Mr. Jones Abiri, two years after he was held without trial.
Abiri was remanded in a federal prison in Nasarawa State after appearing in court for the continuation of his trial.
He is being charged with militancy at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Wuse Zone 2 in Abuja, where Abiri told the court of his experience while being detained by the DSS.
He was later granted bail in the sum of N2 million and two sureties who must be civil servants not lower than level 12.
His lawyer, however, asked the court to vary the bail conditions, saying they were too stringent and cannot be met by him.
The trial Magistrate Chukwu Emeka Nweke then adjourned the trial to August 8 to hear the application and ordered that Mr Abiri should be detained at the Keffi Federal prison instead of the facility of the DSS.
Mr Abiri, the publisher of Weekly Source magazine, was arrested on July 21, 2016, at his office in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, on allegations that he was a key militant terrorising locals and expatriates in the oil-rich Niger Delta, an allegation he denies, ChannelsTV reported.
The claim that Mr Abiri is a militant, alongside several similar allegations propagated against Mr Abiri by the DSS and other government officials have been rejected by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
His arrest and detention without trial was widely condemned by journalists and other media rights groups around the world.
“It is a pathetic situation for me to be facing this kind of persecution,” Mr Abiri said, expressing his resolve to persevere through and “come out from this case.”
He denied ties to Mr Opume, with whom the DSS said the alleged militancy activities, including threats to shakedown multinational oil companies for up to N500 million, were carried out.