By Peter Duru, Makurdi
A Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Mr. Isaac Ajim, yesterday convicted and sentenced an 18-year-old herdsman, Adamu Golle to one-year imprisonment for violating the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State, 2017.
Earlier, the Prosecuting Police Officer, Assistant Superintendent, ASP Hyacinth Gbakor, told the court that “the herder was arrested by the State Commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards, Mr. Linus Zaki, and his team while on patrol along Turan, Logo Local Government Area of Benue State on March 29,2020, with his cows grazing openly.
“The act contravened section 19(2) of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State, 2017.”
The herder in his response pleaded guilty to the charge and confessed that he was with 50 cows that were grazing when he was arrested.
He however pleaded for leniency and promised not to come back to Benue State again for the purpose of grazing.
The Chief Magistrate after listening to the plea of the herder who hailed from Tunga Village, Awe Local Government Area of Nassarawa State, that he would never come to Benue with cows to graze, convicted him and also availed him an option of fine to the tune of N500,000.
He held that “the prosecution has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt to warrant a conviction. I advised those who want to engage in livestock business without ranches to go to states where there are no laws prohibiting open grazing.
“We must know that the law in Benue state was enacted to prevent clashes between herders and farmers and was not targeted at any ethnic group or persons,” he added.