Justice Nnamdi Dimbga of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court has described the two years detention of journalist Jones Abiri as illegal and abuse of his fundamental rights and therefore ordered the Nigerian government to pay N10 million in damages to the Yenegoa based journalist.
In a fundamental rights suit filed by Mr. Abiri, who was detained for two years without trial by the Department of State Services,DSS, the judge said it amounted to conviction by the government.
He said the federal government had no right to detain Mr Abiri after taking his statement in 2016.
After taking his statement, the applicant should have been arraigned, Justice Dimgba said, adding that the federal government’s submission that Mr Abiri was detained in national security was baseless.
The learned justice was of the view that the federal government should have filed a suit against the defendant and asked the court to refuse him bail, so that the court will use its discretion to determinine whether Abiri should be granted bail on not
The Yenegoa based publisher of the weekly magazine, Source, was arrested in August 2016 by Lawal Daura led DSS and held for two years without trial.
Following a fundamental suit by his lawyers and public outcry, the Federal government was forced to arraign him in July on militancy charges at a magistrate court in Abuja.