‘Mal-treated’ Journalist Abiri sues Nigerian govt, demands N200 million
Nigerian journalist and publisher of a Bayelsa State-based weekly paper, Weekly Source, Jones Abiri, who was detained for two years without trial has sued Nigerian government over ‘mal-treatment’ and demands the sum of N200 million.
Spate of intolerance to freedom of expression in Nigeria is reprehensible
Abiri was recently released after a deluge of calls by local and international community for his release.
Premium Times said Abiri’s application was heard on Monday at an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.
According to the application, Mr Abiri’s lawyers, led by Femi Falana, are submitting that the prolonged detention without trial violates their client’s right to personal liberty, dignity of person, freedom of association and fair hearing among others.
The case was however not heard on Monday, as the respondent was yet to file an affidavit replying to the motion brought against the SSS.
When the case was called, Mr Abiri’s lawyer, Samuel Ogala, appeared for the applicant, but the SSS counsel, G. O. Agbadua, asked the court for time for his client respond to the application.
The matter was subsequently adjourned till September 3 for further hearing”, the paper said.
Recently, there have been at least three cases of third-degree assault on Nigerian journalists and media organisations. Their sin is that they publicised news items and expressed their opinions on matters of national importance. This is not the first time such demonstration of intolerance to press freedom is being forced down on Nigerians. Nigeria has had a number of assaults on the media and media practitioners especially in the military administration. But our worry is that the spate of intolerance to press freedom in the country today is increasing on daily basis and the government is not showing any sign of abating it. “In an application brought before the Federal High Court, Mr Abiri is asking the court to compel the SSS to pay him for the flagrant abuse of his rights and torture experienced during his detention by the operatives.