By David Mzer
A social media activist, Mr Terhemba Paul Gyenger, has filed a N200 million fundamental rights suit against the Governor of Benue State, Hyacinth Alia, and the Benue State Government.
Also joined in the suit is the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, and the Attorney General of Benue State.
Gyenger was arrested last Friday, 25th August, 2023 at his residence in Gyado Villa, Makurdi over his Facebook post of August 18, 2023 where he wrote that the governor of Benue State has 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 till date by men of the Nigerian police over a pure civil matter is unwarranted, unconstitutional, illegal, ultravires and constitutes a gross violation of
his right to personal liberty, freedom of speech, right to dignity of 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 of Benue State, the Benue State Government, Commissioner of Police, Benue State 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 one week.