By Samuel Oyadongha, Yenagoa

UNKNOWN gunmen have abducted a Bayelsa-based newspaper publisher, Mr. Jones Abiri.

Abiri was whisked away from the Ayabowei Plaza hosting the secretariat of local newspapers publishers at the Amarata suburb of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.

Jones Abiri: government says he was not arrested for journalism
Jones Abiri

He was also arrested at the same plaza where is office is located in 2016.

Though it could not be immediately ascertained if the gunmen were security operatives, they were said to have stormed the venue in a white Hilux and black SUV at about 4.30pm while Abiri was discussing with his colleagues.

”The armed men jumped out of the hilux van threatening to shoot Abiri if he moved, only to be forced into the Hilux. They then zoomed off while the other jeep closely followed behind. The guns they carried were similar to those of the secret service.

“While he was demanding to know his offence, he was forcefully pushed into a waiting vehicle at gun point. Currently, his whereabouts are unknown,” an eyewitness said.

Abiri, a known local publisher of Weekly Source, it would be recalled was picked up sometime in 2016, by operatives of the Department of State Service over alleged involvement with militants and threats to the nation oil industry.

He however regained freedom in 2018 after about two years of intense campaign from several local and international groups.


Attempt to reach the Spokesman of the state police command, Asinim Butswat for comment proved abortive as his line was not going through as at press time.

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