Gyenger Paul, a social media activist from Benue, was on Thursday remanded in prison custody at the Federal Correction Center, Makurdi for alleged defamation. His alleged offense revolved around the publication of defamatory content targeting the State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, on his Facebook page.
The trial Magistrate, TK Attah, declined an oral bail application citing lack of jurisdiction, leading to the activist’s remand in prison. Gyenger faced charges of Cyberstalking, criminal defamation, and injurious falsehood that disparaged the Governor.
The detention of Gyenger, a reputed activist, has sparked widespread outrage in the state, with many calling for his unconditional release. Despite the unsuccessful oral bail application made by his lawyer, Clement Mue, efforts are underway to explore various legal avenues for securing his release from custody.
It’s worth noting that Gyenger was apprehended on August 25, 2023, at his residence in Gyado Villa, Makurdi, following a Facebook post he made on August 18, 2023. In the post, he alleged that the Governor of Benue State had diverted N2 billion, part of the N5 billion palliatives intended for the people, sent to the state by the federal government. He further claimed that the governor had used some of these funds to complete his mansion in Guzape, Abuja.
Additionally, Gyenger had initiated a N200 million lawsuit against Governor Hyacinth Alia, police officers, and the Attorney General of Benue State for his purported wrongful arrest due to a story posted on his Facebook page. His legal team is in the process of approaching a Federal High Court, which has jurisdiction over the case, to apply for his bail.”
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