Bayelsa-based journalist Jones Abiri has once again been arrested by men of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Abiri was arrested at Ayabowei Plaza in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
SaharaReporters understands that the men stormed the venue with a white Hilux and black SUV while Abiri was discussing with his colleagues at the secretariat of the Bayelsa Publishers office.
”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.”
Another witness said: “The men jumped out of the vehicles in a gestapo fashion while he was chatting with his friends, said shouted ‘you are under arrest’. While he was demanding to know his offence, he was forcefully pushed into a waiting vehicle at gun point. Currently, his whereabouts are unknown.”
When SaharaReporters contacted Peter Afunanya, the DSS spokesman, he said he could not confirm the arrest as he hadn't received a briefing to the effect. He promised to get in touch once he receives a briefing on the mattter.
In 2016, the DSS arrested Abiri, alleging that he was a militant.
It also said Abiri, a known local newspaper publisher, was the leader of the Joint Revolutionary Council of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, which has separatist inclinations and maintains ties with criminal gangs.
He regained freedom in 2018 after an intense campaign from several local and international groups.