Nigerian journalist, Jones Abiri who was detained for two years by the federal government, has won a suit against the state as a Hight Court just awarded him millions of naira in damages.
A Federal High Court sitting at the federal capital territory, Abuja, has on Thursday, ordered the federal government to pay N10 million in damages to Jones Abiri, and described the two years illegal detention as outright conviction.
While speaking at a judgement on Abiri’s fundamental rights suit at the court this morning, the judge, Nnamdi Dimgba, said the federal government had no right to detain Mr Abiri after taking his statement in 2016.
“Having taken his statement, the applicant should have been arraigned,” Dimgba ruled, adding that the federal government’s submission that Abiri was detained in national security was baseless.
Speaking further, Judge Dimgba, said that 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 on notice.
The court therefore declared Abiri’s detention illegal and an abuse of his fundamental rights.
Recall that Abiri was arrested in August 2016 and 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, Abiri was arraigned on militancy at a magistrate court in Abuja.