The DSS were ordered to pay the sum as compensation to journalist Jones Abiri, who was illegally detained by the agency for two years. The journalist who was eventually charged to court earlier this year but not charged with the crimes for which he was arrested, was denied access to his doctors, family and friends.
Though the DSS did not deny arresting and detaining him since July 2016, however Justice Nnamdi Dimgba ruled that the DSS acted outside the provisions of the law regarding the Terrorism Prevention Act, and therefore, ordered the agency to pay the sum.
“Having taken his statement, the applicant should have been arraigned,” Mr Dimgba ruled.
The court which declared Mr Abiri’s detention illegal and an abuse of his fundamental rights, 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 or not.
The judge then ruled that the DSS acted outside the provisions of the law regarding the Terrorism Prevention Act, and therefore, ordered the agency to pay the sum.
Mr Abiri, a Bayelsa-based journalist and publisher of the Weekly Source Magazine, was arrested at his office in Yenagoa, the state capital, for his alleged link to armed militancy in the Niger Delta region, an allegation he denied.
He was 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.