By George Okoh in Makurdi
A Makurdi High Court under Justice Austine Ityonyiman yesterday restrained the Inspector General of Police, and the Benue State Commissioner of Police from prohibiting or shutting down offices of the Benue State Livestock Guards in any part of the state.
The Court also restrained the Inspector General of Police and the Benue State Commissioner of Police from preventing officers of the Benue State Livestock Guards from carrying out their legitimate functions of implementing the state Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, pending the determination of the motion on notice brought before the court.
The Judge granted the motion brought by the Benue State Government through Mr. Douglas Pepe, praying the Court to restrain the Nigerian Police whom he stated where acting outside the scope of their constitutional mandate.
Pepe had argued that the Livestock Guards was a creation of the law and the body was carrying out its functions as stipulated by the legislation establishing it.
After listening to the argument of counsel to the Benue State Government, and going through the affidavit in support of the motion, the Judge was convinced that there was need to grant the application pending the determination of the motion on notice.
The Judge thereafter adjourned the case to November 23, 2018 for hearing of the motion.
Reacting to the restraining order, the Benue State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Michael Gusa said the Samuel Ortom administration was operating based on the rule of law, and due process.
He expressed surprise that the police whose duty was to help the government to enforce laws were seeking to proscribe a law legitimately enacted by a state.
Gusa reaffirmed the determination of the State Government not to be discouraged in pursuing what was in the interest of people of the state.
It will be recalled that the IGP had ordered all states to disband all unauthorised security groups operating in their domain.