|Femi Falana [SAN]|
Femi Falana's position is that the DSS failed to follow the law in the discharge of their duties in the arrest of Journalist Abiri, thus describing his detention as illegal.
According to Punch,
" Falana argued that the detention violates the applicant's fundamental rights to personal liberty, dignity of person, fair hearing, health and freedom of association,..."
Femi Falana [SAN] made it clear that the rights so violated are guaranteed by sections 34, 35 and 40 of the Constitution as well as Article 11, 16 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act"
A litigation Clerk in the Falana's law firm, Mr. Paul Ochayi quoted to have said in an affidavit filed in support of the N200m suit has it that:
"...Abiri was arrested without warrant by the ....agents ...July 21, 2016.
" There is no Court Order which authorized the detention of the applicant..."
who had been in the custody of officers of the DSS who arrested him, 21st July, 2016 in the state capital Yenagoa.
The publisher was said to have been arrested with widespread accusations of been involved in "...militancy and of sending text messages to oil companies demanding illicit payments"
Thursday, 2nd August, Jones Abiri appeared before the Chief Magistrate Chukwuemeka Nweke for his defense, but the DSS not been ready with any of the four witnesses, the case was adjourned to the 16th of August for determination of the substantive suit, while Abiri was taken to Federal prison in Keffe Abuja.
However, mixed reactions trail the ordeal of the Journalist's arrest, unlawful detention and the stringent bail conditions.
Jones Abiri's Lawyer, Femi Falana in his reaction to the stringent bail conditions stated that Abiri deserves self recognition as a Journalist, take himself on bail and to appear in Court when needed.
The President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Waheed Odusile was quoted as saying:
"Journalist Abiri did not deserve incarceration for two years by the DSS, because journalism is not a crime" What he did was journalism and journalism is not a crime...we frown at any attempt to criminalize journalism." the NUJ President emphatically stated.