- Jones Abiri, a journalist who was detained by officials of the Department for State Services (DSS) has finally been released
- Abiri, who writes for Weekly Source, said that he was blindfolded by operatives of the DSS and locked up in an underground cell in Abuja for two years
- Speaking with newsmen, he said the hope that he will see his family again sustained him throughout his detention
A Bayelsa-based journalist, Jones Abiri, on Tuesday, August 21, narrated his bitter experience in the hands of some operatives of the Department for State Services (DSS) who kept him in detention.
Speaking at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abiri told newsmen and leaders of the Civil Liberties Organisation that he was arrested in his office, detained for seven days in DSS cell in Yenagoa and later blindfolded and flown to Abuja, Punch reports.
He said he was kept in seclusion in an underground cell in Abuja and denied access to medical treatment for about two years.
Abiri, who was also received by his wife and family members, said that what sustained him during his detention was the hope that God would grant him freedom one day.
He said: “Precisely, l was arrested on July 21, 2016, in my office at about 3:23 pm. About 12 armed men came to my office and they came with a document, a search warrant that my office was under investigation.
“When l perused the search warrant, l saw that it was signed by one Magistrate Lucky. I allowed them and they searched my office. At the end of the search, they found nothing. They handcuffed me, took my phones, laptops and other things. Things unconnected to my arrest were also taken. All my payslips, banking information were taken.
“They whisked me away to the state command. I gave my statement and after spending seven days in Yenagoa, they took me to Abuja. Initially, l didn’t know where l was going. My eyes were blindfolded. Since that time, l have not been given the grace and the opportunity to see my wife, my children, sisters, brothers and friends.
“My lawyers were denied access to me. I was in an underground cell, where when the light went off, you would not see the next person. I was also denied medical attention. I thank God that the CLO and other rights organisations took up the matter and today, l am out of detention.
“If not because of the voice of the media and the CLO, DSS wouldn’t have taken me to court. I was given one count charge that l sent threat messages to Agip Nigeria Limited and Shell Petroleum Development Company demanding money. But l said l knew nothing about that because l had no connection with oil companies.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com reported that a Twitter user identified as Ajibola had revealed how he was allegedly assaulted by the police after he witnessed and recorded a Lebanese man mistreating one of his staff as the Novare mall in Lekki, Lagos.
Ajibola sad that when the Lebanese man noticed what he was doing, he called the security men who later alerted a policeman close by. He revealed that the policeman alleged slapped him first without asking questions and made him deleted the video, saying it was a crime against the law of the land.
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