Court Sentences Herdsman to Prison for Open Grazing in Benue


George Okoh in Makurdi

The Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court, which was presided over by Mr. Isaac Ajim, Thursday convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old herder, Danladi Damess of Doka village, Shandam Local Government Area of Plateau State, to one year imprisonment for violating the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State.

The trial Chief Magistrate, however, tempered justice with mercy and gave the convict an option of fine of N500,000 as a first offender.
Ajim warned those who want to engage in livestock business to ranch their animals or stay away from Benue State, adding that the judiciary has a duty to protect the citizens against the violators of the law prohibiting open grazing.

Earlier, the Prosecuting Police Officer, ASP Hyacinth Gbakor, told the court that on March 9th, 2020, the leader of the livestock guards in Gwer West Local Government Area, Otor Emmanuel, and his team while on patrol saw the herdsman with cows grazing, and they arrested him for contravening section 19(2) of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.

The herder pleaded guilty to the charge.
As at the time of filing this report, the convict wa
s being conveyed to Federal Correctional Centre in Makurdi.