Open Grazing Ban: Ortom Orders Arrest Of Herdsmen, Detains 50 Cattle

There's Nothing Wrong Granting LG Autonomy – Ortom

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom has ordered the confiscation of over 50 cows and arrest of three herdsmen.

The suspects were arrested for violating the law banning open grazing in the state and for obstructing the governors’ convey while returning to Makurdi from Tarka local council.

Governor Ortom after giving the order on Wednesday, December 27 lamented the increased violation of the law banning open grazing law in Benue State.

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He added that two people were recently killed in Odonto village of Otukpo local council due to an attack by herdsmen, a result of the violation of the open grazing ban.

At the time of filing this report, three herders including one Benue State indigene have been arrested and were taken to the police for investigation and prosecution while the arrested cattle were guided to a detention ranch.

The Benue State government on November 1, officially effected its ban on open grazing throughout the state. This was after Governor Ortom on May 22, signed the anti-open grazing and anti-kidnapping, abduction, cultism and terrorism bills into law.

Police Arraign Herdsman For Violating Anti-Open Grazing Law

A herdsman has been arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court for violating anti-open grazing law, criminal conspiracy, causing grievous hurt, culpable homicide and illegal possession of firearms.

When the case was mentioned, the Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Imo Edward told the court that on November 2, 2017, at about 0730hrs, the DPO Logo Division received a distress call from the unit commander Police mobile force 13 squadron on special duty at Ayilamo.

READ ALSO: Benue Open Grazing Ban Having Havoc Effect On Cross River

The distressed caller said that some herdsmen attacked Azege village, shot and killed one Mr Ortse Kwaghdoo, aged 40 and also shot one Mr Akaa Hingir in the chest and he sustained serious injury.

He said during the police investigation, one Mallam Gambo Mohammad was arrested and a locally made pistol was recovered from him.

The prosecutor informed the court that, Mallam Gambo committed an offence under section 97,248,222 of the penal code Law of Benue State and section 19(7) of the anti-open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment law of Benue State 2017 punishable under section 3(1) of the robbery and firearms act.

Although no plea was taken by the accused who is challenging the court jurisdiction, he was remanded at the Medium Prison Makurdi.

Justice Isaac Ajim adjourned the case to February 9, 2018 for further mentioning.

It would be recalled that the Anti Open Grazing prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law was signed by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on the May 22nd, 2017 but came into effect on November 1st, 2017.

Mallam Gambo who allegedly committed the offence on November 2, 2017, is the first offender since the law came into effect.

When contacted, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa said, “The law is made to protect both herdsmen and farmers and it would not spare anyone who breaks it.”

He urged members of the public to report cases of trespass to security agencies and the Livestock Guards, warning against people taking laws into their hands.