Veteran journalist, Lanre Arogundade, has asked for the immediate release of Jones Abiri after the Department of State Services (DSS) failed to produce a witness against him in court.
Abiri, publisher of the Weekly Source,was brought before a magistrate court for the first time by the DSS since being forcefully arrested in 2016.
He was accused of bombing oil pipelines, planning attacks on Abuja, and sending threat to international oil companies and also demanding money from them.
The Bayelsa based journalist was also said to be the leader of a separatist group, Joint Revolutionary Council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force.
Since arrested, Nigerians have constantly demanded that the DSS either charge him to court or release him.
However, when arraigned in court, case could not proceed because the DSS failed to produce its witnesses causing the judge to adjourn the matter.
Reacting, Mr Arogundade, slammed the DSS, tagging its inability to produce a witness against Abiri as ‘irresponsible’.
He said, “it was very irresponsible for the DSS to have failed to produce its witness after having illegally detained Abiri for two years and therefore effectively stalling his trial.”
He added that the attitude of the DSS showed that it did not have any case against Abiri while insisting that the journalist should be set free immediately and unconditionally.
Condemning the bail conditions of Abiri, Mr Arogundade, Director of International Press Centre, posited that the bail conditions are unacceptable as it would be very difficult for Abiri, who the DSS has labeled a terrorist to get two Level 16 public officers as sureties.
Abiri has been ordered by the court to be remanded in Keffi prison as the suit against him was adjourned.