IPC Seeks Jones Abiri’s Release After Two Years in Detention

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    Jonathan Eze

    The International Press Centre (IPC) has called for the release of Jones Abiri, a journalist and publisher of the Weekly Source local newspaper in Bayelsa State.

    He was arrested in 2016 and detained by the Department of State Security (DSS) without arraignment.

    However, following a N200million suit filed by Femi Falana Law Chambers against the (DSS), the outcry of media stakeholders and human rights groups, the DSS yesterday produced him at a Magistrate court in Abuja.

    The case could not however, proceed because the DSS failed to produce its witnesses and the matter had to be adjourned till August 16 with Abiri being ordered to be remanded in Keffi prison.

    Abiri is facing stringent bail conditions including the requirement to have two sureties who must be very high officers in the civil service.

    Reacting to this development, the Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, through its Programme Officer, Melody Akinjiyan, said it was very irresponsible for the DSS to have failed to produce its witnesses after having illegally detained Abiri for two years and therefore effectively stalling his trial.

    The IPC director also noted that the stringent bail conditions imposed by the Court were unacceptable as it would be very difficult for Abiri, who the DSS labeled a terrorist,to get two Level 16 public officers as sureties.

    According to Arogundade, the attitude of the DSS showed that it did not have any case against Abiri and he should therefore be set free immediately and unconditionally