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.
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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