13 September 2018

Nigeria: Court Awards N10 Million Damages Against Nigeria for Illegal Detention of Journalist Jones Abiri

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(file photo)

The Abuja division of the Federal High Court has described the two years detention of journalist Jones Abiri as outright conviction and ordered government to pay N10 million in damages to Mr Abiri.

Mr Abiri was arrested in August 2016 and detained for two years till his lawyers, led by human rights activist, Femi Falana filed a fundamental suit against the Federal government.

Following outcry by various human rights agencies and the media, Mr Abiri was arraigned on militancy at a magistrate court in Abuja.

Speaking at a judgement on Mr Abiri's fundamental rights suit at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Thursday the judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, said the federal government had no right to detain Mr Abiri after taking his statement in 2016.

"Having taken his statement, the applicant should have been arraigned," Mr Dimgba ruled.

The judge said the federal government's submission that Mr Abiri was detained in national security was baseless.

According to the judge, the federal government should have filled the suit against the defendant and asked the court to refuse him bail, so that the court will use its discretion in determining whether Mr Abiri should be granted bail on not

The court therefore declared Mr Abiri's detention illegal and an abuse of his fundamental rights.

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