22 May 2019

Nigeria: Govt Charges Journalist Jones Abiri for Terrorism

Photo: Premium Times
Jones Abiri

The Nigerian government on Wednesday arraigned journalist Jones Abiri for alleged economic sabotage and terrorism.

Federal prosecutors filed three counts of terrorism, economic sabotage, and fraud against Mr Abiri on Wednesday morning, according to his lawyer, Samuel Ogala.

Court filing seen by PREMIUM TIMES said Mr Abiri sent text messages from his phone number to Shell and Agip officials, threatening to blow their oil installations if his demands were not met.

The Bayelsa-based journalist was also accused of leading a gang of activists to blow up pipelines in Bayelsa.

All the offences allegedly took place between June and July 2016.

The charges came nine months after Mr Abiri was freed from the custody of the State Security Service, after spending two years there without trial.

The journalist strongly denied all allegations, saying he was being targeted for his media work that put a spotlight on the controversial conducts of oil companies and the Nigerian government in the Niger Delta.

His ordeal has been a major topic of discussion amongst media rights advocates, with the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalist asking for all charges to be dropped.

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