Court orders DSS to arraign detained Bayelsa publisher

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By Emem Idio

YENAOA—A Bayelsa State High Court presided over by Justice Ineiye Aganaba, yesterday, ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to arraign Chief Jones Abiri, a journalist and publisher of a local newspaper based in Bayelsa, who has been in the DSS custody since July last year.

In his ruling, Justice Aganaba held that the matter borders on fundamental human rights, maintaining that both federal and state high courts have the requisite jurisdiction to hear matters concerning the rights of accused persons who are in the custody of police and other security agencies.

Chief Abiri was whisked away from his office at Ekeki, Yenagoa, by DSS operatives on July 21, 2016 and accused of alleged leadership of a militant group known as Joint Niger Delta Liberation Front, JDLF.

The court noted that the alleged offences committed by the accused person have to do with terrorism and mutiny; therefore, upheld the application lodged before the court.

Citing relevant sections of the laws and constitutions, Justice Aganaba upheld the respondent’s application to try the matter before a Federal High Court.

In his remarks, counsel to DSS, Victor Uchendu, while commenting on the ruling,  told the court that the delay in charging the alleged militant leader, Mr. Abiri to court was a result of intensive investigations to unravel all those behind the crime before charging them to court.

 



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