Abuja court strikes out case against journalist

Abiri, the publisher of the Weekly Source, a newspaper based in Bayelsa state was arrested by the DSS in 2016.

Abiri's appearance in court has elicited reaction from a group, Enough is Enough Nigeria, EiE, after his two years in detention.

Abiri, the publisher of the Weekly Source, a newspaper based in Bayelsa state was arrested by the DSS in 2016.

The allegations levelled against him was that he is the leader of the joint revolutionary council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, a separatist group.

He was also accused of planning to bomb oil installations.

Arraigned in 2018

The journalist was however not taken to court until Friday, July 28, 2018, following public outcry.

Abiri was granted bailby the Magistrate, Chukwuemeka Nweke and August 8, 2018 was fixed as date to vary the bail conditions.

Case closed

At the hearing on Monday, Samuel Ogala, Abiri’s counsel told the court to transfer the case to Bayelsa state, as the alleged crime was not committed in Abuja, The Cable reports.

In his response, the Magistrate, Chukwuemeka Nweke agreed that the case is outside the jurisdiction of the court.

“That the court has the duty to uphold doctrine of fair hearing, which guarantees that an accused is charged within the territorial jurisdiction.

“That the first information report as presently presented is an abuse of process of this court.

“Section 112 (10) of Administrative Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 states that; ‘Where the evidence referred to in subsection (9) of this section has been taken or at any stage of the case, the magistrate is of the opinion that there is round that the suspect has committed an offence triable under this part, which such magistrate court is competent to try and which, in the opinion of the Magistrate could be adequately punished, the magistrate shall frame a charge stating the offence for which the suspect will either be tried by the court or direct that the suspect be tried in another magistrate court’.

“It is therefore deemed that the prosecution is not disputing the facts that all elements of the alleged offence occurred in Bayelsa. This court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain this matter and I hereby strike out this case,” he added.

Also, the Abuja division of the Federal High Court recently ordered the Federal Government to pay Jones Abiri, the sum of N10 million in damages for his unlawful detention by the Department of State Services (DSS).

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