From Middle: The National President of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) flanked by the National Secretary, Alhaji Baba Ngelzarma, and other members of the association at a press briefing on the position of the association to stem farmers-herdsmen clashes in Abuja on Sunday.
Anti-Open Grazing Law: Miyetti Allah drags Benue govt to A’Court
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Socio-Cultural Association, yesterday, dragged Benue State government before the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, seeking to upturn the Anti-Open Grazing Law currently in operation in the state.
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The Miyetti Allah group, through their lawyer, Aliyu Ahmed, is praying the appellate court to set aside a judgement the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court delivered on July 4, which declined its application for the Anti-Open Grazing Law passed by Benue State House of Assembly to be abolished.
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Other appellants that joined Miyetti Allah to challenge the dismissal of the application by the high court are Alhaji Abdullahi Bodojo and Saleh Alhassan.
They are urging the court to order the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to re-assign the case to another judge aside from Justice Okon Abang, for it to be re-heard.
OKIt will be recalled that Justice Abang had in a judgement on July 4, threw away the suit on the premise that the originating summons the group brought before the court was incompetent.
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The judge went ahead to award N100,000 cost in favour of each of the 14 defendants in the case, which he said must first be paid by the plaintiffs before they could take any further steps.
In their notice of appeal dated July 30, the appellants raised 10 grounds they urged the appellate court to consider and order that their case be re-listed for hearing.
The appellants argued that the lower court was in error when it held that they had no valid originating summons, even when they filed an amended process.
They argued: “The appellants filed an irregular and voidable amended originating summons on the 31th May, 2019 without payment of the default tees. Yet, the lower court held that the originating summons is invalid and a nullity.
“It is trite law that a mistake of counsel cannot be visited on the litigant, especially when it is pardonable and the irregular amended process filed on May 31, 2019, is before the court and the lower court has a duty to ensure that the suit of the appellants is heard on the merit.
“The lower court ought not to shut out a litigant by dismissing his claim when the process of court is amended in error without seeking extension of time to amend same.
“More so, all the respondents have filed their various counter affidavits against the originating summons. The failure to pay the default fees or filing fees for the amended originating summons filed on May 31,. 2019, only made it at worst voidable or a nullity.”
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