Detained journalist Jones Abiri regains freedom after two years
Jones Abiri, who had been detained for more than two years by the Department of State Service, DSS, has regained his freedom.
The Bayelsa-based journalist, was released on Wednesday after he was said to have met his bail conditions.
There had been an outrage within and outside the country over Jones Abiri’s arrest and detention by the DSS over an alleged link to armed militancy in the Niger Delta region.
The publisher of the Weekly Source Magazine was arrested on July 21, 2016, at his office in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Despite local and international pressure, Nigerian officials including the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, claimed Mr Abiri is not a journalist and tried to justify his illegal detention.
Two years after his arrest, he was not charged to court.
Following public outcry, however, Abiri was eventually charged with the offence on July 27, 2018, at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Wuse Zone 2 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The court later granted him bail in the sum of N2 million and two sureties whom the court said must be civil servants not lower than level 12.
Last week, the court reviewed the journalist’s bail conditions, following an application by his lawyer who said they were too stringent for his client.
Mr Abiri’s lawyer, Samuel Ogala, also told PREMIUM TIMES his client’s trial continues at the Abuja magistrate court in Zone 2, Wuse on Thursday.