Group demands trial of journalist in DSS custody after year

From: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

A group, Pen Pusher Association of Nigeria (PPAN), has demanded the arraignment of  a Yenagoa-based journalist, Jones Abiri, who has been in the custody of the Department of State Security( DSS) for one year without trial.

President of the PPAN, Richard Ogbage, in a communiqué issued after its monthly general meeting, said that the DSS arrested Jones whom it claimed bears Akotebe Darikoro and accused of furthering separatism tendencies in connivance with other criminal gangs in the Niger Delta region.

Ogbage, who recalled that the DSS alleged Abiri masterminded vandalism and bombing of Agip and Shell pipelines at Southern Ijaw Local Government Area on July 8, 2016, and circulated a hoax report on the overthrow of President Moahammed Buhari, noted that Wednesday, July 21 would make one year that he was arrested without his arraignment before a competent Court of law.

The group which stated that it has reported the Abiri matter to the Human Rights International, Amnesty International and Transparency Watch International for consideration, also called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene in the matter and set Abiri free to ensure that justice is served based on equity and fair play.

The communiqué read in part, “ To us the continued detention of Abiri without trial according to the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended is unlawful, unjust and infringement on hid fundamental human rights. Before his arrest, Abiri is married with seven Children and lived with an aged mother and they are languishing in penury. That based on our submission if the likes of Nnamdi Kanu that was accused of treasonable felony, a crime bigger than what Abiri was alleged to have committed is walking free today, we don’t see any reason why Jones Abiri cannot be released on bail while facing trial in a competent court of law.”

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