The Bayelsa State-based journalist who recently regained his freedom after two years in custody of the Department of State Service (DSS), Mr. Jones Abiri, has filed a suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking N200 million damages as compensation from the federal government for abuse of his fundamental human rights.
In the suit filed by his lawyers, led by Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Abiri also named the DSS, Director General, DSS and the Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF) as co-defendants to the suit.
The journalist is further asking the court to declare his incarceration unlawful.
He is also asking the court to declare that the prolonged detention without trial violates his right to personal liberty, dignity of person, freedom of association and fair hearing among others.
The plaintiff is asking the court to award a fine of N200million against the defendants in his favour as compensation for the wrong done to him as a person.
When the case was called on Monday before the vacation judge, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, Abiri’s lawyer, Samuel Ogala said that the matter was slated for hearing, adding that the defendants have not filed their responses.
But one of the lawyers for the defendants, G. O. Agbadua, told the court that the time for their response was still running, since the applicant served them on August 20.
He added that the defendants have five clear days to reply and pleaded with the court to give his clients time to file responses in the interest of fair hearing.
The judge obliged Agbadua’s request and adjourned the case till September 3 for further hearing.
Abiri, a publisher of a Bayelsa State -based weekly paper, The Weekly Source, was arrested by operatives of the DSS in July 2016 and
detained till July 2018 without trial.
He was later arraigned before the court, following wide condemnation of his prolonged incarceration and was subsequently granted bail.