IPC berates DSS over non-diligence in Abiri’s case
The International Press Council (IPC) has berated the manner in which the Department of State Services (DSS) is handling the case of a journalist, Jones Abiri, who has been detained for over two years.
Femi Falana Chambers had filed a N200 million suit against the DSS, while media stakeholders and human rights groups had lampooned the DSS over its action, which may have prompted its decision to present Abiri at an Abuja Magistrate Court yesterday.
However, the case could not proceed because the DSS failed to produce its witnesses and as such the matter had to be adjourned till August 16, while Abiri remains in detention at the Keffi Prison.
Abiri is facing severe bail conditions including having two sureties who must be highly placed officers in the civil service.
In a statement, Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade said: “It was very irresponsible for the DSS to have failed to produce its witness after detaining Abiri for over two years and therefore, effectively stalling his trial.”
He noted that the bail conditions imposed by the court were unacceptable, as it would be difficult for Abiri, who the DSS had labeled a terrorist, to get two Level 16 public officers as sureties.
“The DSS’s attitude showed that it did not have any case against Abiri and he should, therefore, be set free immediately and unconditionally,” he said.