The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State rejects as unlawful the denial of bail to its member, Paul Terhemba Gyenger, by the Nigeria Police Force following his arrest and detention at the Force’s State Command in Makurdi.
Mr. Gyenger was picked up in Makurdi and is being detained by the Police following a petition by Governor Hyacinth Alia claiming he is defamed by a social media post the arrested PDP activist made regarding the subsidy removal palliatives sent to the state by the federal government.
Earlier today, Benue PDP State Legal Adviser, Barr. Clement T. Mue and State Publicity Secretary, Bemgba Iortyom, who were at the Police State Command to demand bail for the detained party activist, were denied access to him for hours and were only able to see him after a direct order from the Commissioner of Police.
But demand for his bail was denied by the Investigation and Prosecution Officer (IPO) who claimed that could only happen after a meeting between Governor Alia’s team of lawyers and Mr. Gyenger’s lawyers scheduled for midday, but which the governor’s lawyers failed to turn up for.
Our great party believes this is a ploy by Governor Alia to have Mr. Gyenger kept in Police detention without trial longer than permitted under law, and this is in violation of his fundamental rights which will be challenged in court.
The arrest and detention of Mr. Gyenger on the orders of Governor Alia also reflects a misplacement of priorities by the governor who has kept sealed lips over spiralling insecurity in the state manifesting in such violent crimes as the gruesome murder only a few days back of Retired Justice Margaret Igbetar, as well as wanton kidnappings and killings by bandits.
PDP warns Governor Alia to shelve any idea of a crackdown on its members and other citizens who criticize his ‘one man regime’ which is a crime against democracy, and retrace his steps back to the path of due process and rule of law, in his best interest and that of the state.
State Publicity Secretary,
PDP, Benue State.