A chief magistrate court sitting in Makurdi has convicted three herders for violating the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.
The convicts Haruna Adamu of Obi LGA, Ibrahim Adamu of Agyaragu, in Lafia LGA and Iliyasu Adam from Obi LGA, all of Nasarawa State were earlier arrested by the Livestock Guards for contravening section 19(2)of the Benue grazing law.
Police Prosecuting Officer, ASP Hyacinth Gbakor, told the court that on March 21, 2020, the Commander of Benue State Livestock Guards, Linus Zaki, while on patrol with his team saw the three herders with cows grazing at Udei in Guma LGA of Benue state.
The three accused persons however pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to them.
The trial Chief Magistrate, Isaac Ajim, therefore convicted the trio herders and sentenced them each to one year in prison.
But on listening to their plea for leniency, Ajim, however tempered justice with mercy and fined the convicts the sum of N500,000 with an option of one year in prison as first offenders.
Ajim told the convicts that the law was not targeted at any ethnic group but to forestall clashes between herders and farmers while he stressed that those who want to do the business of animal husbandry in Benue state must be ready to obey the law by ranching their animals.