Nigerian journalist Jones Abiri, whom the Department of State Services (DSS) illegally detained without trial for two years over alleged links to Niger Delta militants, is now a free man indeed.
A court had granted Abiri bail following the sacking of disgraced former DSS boss Lawal Daura. Abiri was released on August 15 after meeting his bail conditions. The court also ordered the Nigerian government to pay Abiri N10 million in damages.
But Amnesty International (AI), which had been advocating for Abiri’s freedom, said that was not enough. The body wanted all charges against the journalist dismissed.
AI and other groups interested in the case got good news on Monday when a magistrate court in Abuja struck out the suit against the journalist.
The court described Abiri’s detention as a criminal intimidation.
The federal government had arraigned him before a magistrate court in Abuja. Abiri’s lawyer Samuel Ogala had asked the court to transfer his client’s trial to Bayelsa, since that was where Abiri was arrested.
Abiri is publisher and editor-in-chief of Weekly Source Newspaper.