Nigerian Activist, Gyenger Files N200Million Rights Suit Against Benue Governor, Police Commissioner, Others For Detaining Him Over Facebook Post

A social media activist, Mr Terhemba Paul Gyenger, has filed N200 million fundamental rights suit against Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State and the Benue State Government.

Also joined in the suit are the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, and the Attorney General of Benue State.

Gyenger was arrested last Friday, August 25, 2023, at his residence in Gyado Villa, Makurdi over his Facebook post of August 18, 2023, where he wrote that the state governor had allegedly diverted N2 billion sent to the state by the federal government out of the N5 billion palliatives meant for the people.

In the suit filed by his counsel, Barrister Clement Mue, Gyenger is seeking a declaration that his arrest, harassment, humiliation and continuous detention to date by the police over a civil matter is unwarranted, unconstitutional, illegal, ultra vires and constitutes a gross violation of his right to personal liberty, freedom of speech, right to dignity of the human person and right to privacy provided, protected and guaranteed under sections 34, 35, and 36, 39, 41 and 46 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Articles 5, 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Mr Gyenger is seeking an order compelling the governor, Benue State Government, Commissioner of Police, Benue State Police Command, and the Attorney General of Benue State to pay him the sum of N200 million as compensation and damages for the illegal arrest and continuous detention.

He is also seeking an order directing the Nigerian police to release him forthwith on liberal terms and an order compelling the respondents to tender an unreserved apology before members of the public in two national dailies for painting him in bad light before members of the public.

The activist is further seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, officers, servants and cronies from further threatening to arrest, detain, intimidate and harass him.

The arrest of Paul Gyenger has sparked widespread reactions from the public, especially on social media in the last week.

Sahara Reporters