Home CRIME Case against Abiri may be struck out Friday –NUJ president, Odusile

Case against Abiri may be struck out Friday –NUJ president, Odusile

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Jones Abirie; Government says he was not arrested for offense in journalism

 

The Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Weekly Source, Mr. Jones Abiri, may finally be set freeon Friday for lack of evidence against him.

The assurance was given on Thursday by Magistrate Chukwuemeka Nweke of Magistrate Court 5, Wuse, Abuja.

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The President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Waheed Odusile, who was present in court told Daily Watch that the magistrate warned that it would strike out the case if again, the Department of State Service, DSS, failed to present any evidence against Abiri.

The DSS could not present any evidence on Thursday when asked to do so.

Abiri has been incarcerated for two years without trial.

He was said to have been arrested in connection with armed militancy in the Niger Delta area of the country.

However, following outcry by journalists and the human rights community, he was arraigned and the tough condition of bail earlier given was relaxed.

On Wednesday, Abiri met the bail condition and was released.

But in continuation of the trial on Thursday, the DSS has failed to present any evidence to prosecute the charges against Abiri.

The counsel to the journalist, Samuel Ogala, sought the court to strike out the case as the DSS prosecutor could not provide any evidence.

However, the magistrate gave the DSS up till Friday to present evidence against Abiri, or else he would strike out the case.

Striking out the case would mean that Abiri is finally free of the charges and would become totally free.

Speaking Daily Watch on Thursday on the arraignment on of Abiri Odusile said:

“The prosecutor of the DSS still failed to produce evidence to prosecute the case against Abiri, which means they just kept him there for nothing.  They have no case against him.

“The magistrate told them that if by tomorrow (Friday) the DSS fails to present evidence to prosecute the allegation against him (Abiri), he would stike out the case.

“The defence counsel wanted the case to be struck out immediately, but the magistrate gave the DSS till tomorrow to provide evidence.

“That means the DSS has no case if after two years, they don’t have any evidence.  We expect that since the DSS does not have any evidence against him, the court will strike out the case tomorrow.

“Finally, he should be a free man without any case hanging on his neck.”

Odusile who was enthusiastic about the turn of event so far said it had become obvious that the arrest and detention was uncalled for and an unnecessary show of power by the DSS.

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