FG docks journalist on terrorism charges

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The Federal Government yesterday arraigned a journalist, Jones Abiri, for alleged economic sabotage and terrorism.

According to his lawyer, Samuel Ogala, federal prosecutors filed three counts of terrorism, economic sabotage and fraud against Abiri yesterday morning.

It was alleged that 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.

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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 Abiri was freed from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), 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.

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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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