Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has threatened to approach the court to file an application to forfeit 43 cows arrested by its operatives in Orin Ekiti, Ido/Osi Local Government Area about a month ago.
The NSCDC said the action became its last resort following the inability of the owners to claim them and due to enormous cost of their upkeep.
The cows were arrested inside a farm at Orin Ekiti, and since then, nobody had come to claim them from the custody of the NSCDC in Ado Ekiti metropolis.
The Corps in a statement by its Public Relations Officer in Ado Ekiti yesterday said the Command can’t continue to keep the cows at its expense.
According to the statement, “We will approach a court of competent jurisdiction to seek an order of forfeiture and sale to partly compensate the farmers whose farms and products were destroyed.”
It appealed to the public as well as Cattle Breeders Association in the state to inform their members that 43 cows have been in the custody of Command for over one month.
“The cows were arrested in Orin Ekiti where they were found destroying farms and bans of some farmers which led to serious damage, and the action later led to serious outcry from the farmers in the town who were ready to kill all the cows in retaliation, necessitating the keeping of the cows in Civil Defence custody to avoid unnecessary vendetta.
“The cows have remained in the custody of the Command ever since, but all efforts to identify their owners have proved abortive, even as their upkeep continues to cost the Command a lot in feeding and veterinary services.
“The Command had earlier informed stakeholders in the state of the arrest, while the anti-grazing agency in the state was also briefed on the development to assist in announcing to herders in the state who might be searching for lost cows to visit the state headquarters to identify them, but up till now, no one has showed up,” it said.
The farmers in Orin Ekiti and the Seriki Fulani in Ekiti State, Mr. Adamu Abache, have been having a running battle over the destruction of over N50million worth of crops by cows in the area.