Activists Sue Benue State Gov’t Over Public Order Act: “It’s Gross Violation of Fundamental Rights”

  • Human rights activists have filed a lawsuit against Benue state governor, Hyacinth Alia, challenging recent public order law
  • The activists argued that the law violates fundamental rights, represents the “reign of dictatorship” and must be stopped
  • The activists highlighted that the law restricts public gatherings, bans street vending, among others

Makurdi, Benue-A group of human rights activists has filed a lawsuit against Benue state governor, Hyacinth Alia, challenging the recent public order law enacted by his administration.

The plaintiffs, Bemgba Iortyom and Adebayo Ogorry, argue that the law grossly violates fundamental rights and represents a “reign of dictatorship” that must be stopped.

Activists move against Benue state governor public actActivists move against Benue state governor public act
Photo credit: Hyacinth AliaSource: Facebook

As reported by The Sun, the governor had signed an executive order establishing the Department of Public Order in the Ministry of Justices to coordinate government policies and matters relating to public order.

Details about the public act

The contentious legislation, featuring clauses such as restricting public gatherings past 10 pm and prohibiting street vending, has faced significant backlash for its perceived aim to suppress freedom of expression and classify regular citizens as criminals.

The activists claim that the law is vague, oppressive, and targets vulnerable groups and perceived political enemies.

They said:

“We are seeking the intervention of the Honourable Court to declare as null and void the Executive Order proclaimed by Governor Alia recently which content is both a violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerian citizens in Benue state.

“As well as they constitute abuse of power and are an attempt to exercise law making powers not donated to the governor by the constitution of Nigeria.

The activists, therefore, implored the court to invalidate the law enacted by the governor, declaring it null and void.

Court stops gov Alia from investigating ex Benue gov Ortom

In another report, a Benue state high court in Makurdi restrained Governor Hyacinth Alia’s commission of inquiry from investigating his predecessor, Samuel Ortom, on Wednesday, May 29.

The court ruled that the investigation must be paused until the resolution of a lawsuit filed by Ortom challenging the probe of his administration.

The attorney general of the federation noted that since the matter is already before the court, it should be allowed to proceed through the legal system.

The governor had initiated two judicial commissions of inquiry in February to examine the Benue state government’s funds (income and expenditure) from May 29, 2015, to May 28, 2023, during Ortom’s tenure.

Source: TheTalk.NG

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