Jones Abiri Appears In Court
Abiri, publisher of the Weekly Source, a newspaper based in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, was arrested by agents of the DSS who alleged that he is the leader of joint revolutionary council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, a separatist group.
Abiri was accused of bombing oil pipelines, planning attacks on Abuja, and sending threat to international oil companies and also demanding money from them.
The government and the DSS have been pressured to either release or charge Abiri to court.
The DSS succumbed to the pressure as they for the first time arraigned the journalist since his arrest in 2016 and was granted bail in the sum of N2million.
He was also asked to produce two civil servants who live in Abuja who will stand in as sureties.
They are not to be less grade level 15 officials and they will have to deposit their original appointment letters with the court.
But Marshal Abubakar, counsel to Abiri, informed the court of their application to vary the bail condition.
Abubakar argued that his client should be granted on self-recognizance because he is a journalist.
“We now informed the court that our parties in this suit cannot meet the bail conditions. There is an application to vary the conditions,” he said.
“We said the first defendant Mr Jones Abiri is a journalist who has practised his journalism in Bayelsa state. So the court now adjourned for the hearing of our application to allow Mr Jones Abiri go on self-recongnisance.”
Thereafter, Chukwuemeka Nweke, the magistrate, fixed August 8 to hear the application. He also fixed August 16 for the commencement of Abiri’s trial.