Activist Demands Release Of Abducted Sylva Associate




Activist Demands Release Of Abducted Sylva Associate

A social and political activist, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, has demanded the
immediate release of Sir Tonye Okio, a loyalist of former Bayelsa State
Governor, Chief Timipre Sylva. Okio was abducted in Abuja Saturday morning by
men of the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB) of the Nigeria Police, and taken
to Yenagoa where he is being detained over his alleged comments on Facebook,
considered unfavourable to the powers that be.

Buokoribo said he was expressing his personal views and not those of any social
or political affiliation, including Sylva whom he serves as Media Adviser. In
the statement released in Yenagoa to journalists on Monday, Buokoribo described
the abduction of Okio and his continued detention as illegal, unfair and
unsympathetic. He pointedly accused the Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake
Dickson, of being the mastermind of what he described as grand impunity.

The activist disclosed that:

1) On Saturday, 26 October, about 15 men, including plain-clothes Special
Investigation Bureau (SIB) officials and those attached to the Police Mobile
Force (otherwise known as kill-and-go Police), invaded the Abuja residence of
Tonye Okio with three vehicles (one Prado Jeep and two Police Escort vans) and
forcefully seized him. Thereafter they took his iPAD and the mobile phones of
himself and his younger sister;

2) After getting their target, he was taken to the headquarters of the Abuja
Command of the Nigeria Police. He stayed with his abductors who claimed they
were trying to arrange a flight to take him to Yenagoa via Port Harcourt
International Airport. When the flight arrangement failed, the police decided
to take Tonye by road. They left Abuja about 4:00 pm Saturday and arrived
Yenagoa about 1:00 am on Sunday, 27 October. He was taken straight to the State
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Nigeria Police where he is being
detained illegally;

3) The Police authorities claim that Tonye Okio will be charged for allegedly
writing on his Facebook page recently that an unnamed South-South Governor was
recently caught in the U.S. with 5 million USD. Tonye denies the charge;

4) Since his detention, Sir Okio has been denied access to visitors. Police
sources say they have been given stern instructions by the Bayelsa State Police
Commissioner, Mr Hillary Opara, to deny that Tonye Okio is at the State CID;

5) In addition to the regular police that man the gates of the State CID, the
surroundings have been taken over by Mobile Police men, numbering about 10,
apparently because of the high value detainee;

6) If Dickson believes he is the said governor alleged to have issues of money
laundering in the U.S., he should know what to do as a lawyer. Using the police
to harass, intimidate and blackmail a political opponent is indecent. Besides,
this action amounts to a privatisation of the Nigeria Police;

7) Sir Tonye Okio served as Governor’s Special Representative in Abuja to
former Governor Sylva. He is also the Publicity Secretary of the New Peoples
Democratic Party (nPDP) in Bayelsa State. He is a well-known critic of
President Goodluck Jonathan over his misgovernance of Nigeria, even though he
is from the Ogbia axis of Bayelsa State like Mr President. It is therefore
impossible not to read political meanings to his ordeal.

Keeping Tonye in detention ostensibly for social media activism is a national
embarrassment. It insults our collective intelligence. Free Tonye now!


Social and Political Activist


28 October 2013



  1. I believe that the use of abduction is misplaced and does your report no good. A state is constituted to make arrests where there is complaint and I believe this is the most civilized thing any one can do to seek redress for a wrong committed under the rule of law,unless you do not believe there is a law or even the existence of a state or taking it further the right of police to make arrest. Soi suggest you reframe your headline in line with decent journalese.
    As for the arrest I do not see it asanaffront on free speech but a heck on mounting abuse of thesocialmediagrace it is a good thing that impunity in the social media is also checked. Everyone should know the limit to the information you bandy about knowing that society is guided by laws. A situation whereby a writer under the cover of free speech continues to manufacture and spread falsehood with impunity cannot help the growth of the social media some of us helped to shape and we shall continue to stand against such orchestrated mass deceit of people of Bayelsa by few who think that they have a monopoly of vile language against constituted authority without any iota of evidence to back their serial vituperation. I have once in a while come out to warn of the danger to society by these evil dealing people on facebook masquerading as social media practitioners. Henceforth every writer must know that ignorance of the law cannot bean excuse. If you plot a coup against a democratically elected government even a military government it is a serious matter so is social media misuse for thereby millions are deceived to believe and even act on falsehood. No country or state will allow this impunity to go unchecked!


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