Open Grazing: Ogun State Assembly Proposes Three-Year Imprisonment for Offenders

Open Grazing: Ogun State Assembly Proposes Three-Year Imprisonment for Offenders

  • The Ogun House of Assembly has made moves to control the indiscriminate open grazing method in the state
  • According to the new legislation, offenders will be made to spend time in jail if they violate the new law
  • To make matters worse, the offenders will also be compelled to give up their herds to serve as a deterrent to others

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Abeokuta - The Ogun State House of Assembly has passed Animal Grazing Regulation and Cattle Ranch Establishment Bill, 2020, recommending three years jail terms for offenders without any option.

The Punch newspaper reports that violators of the law will also forfeit their herds of cattle or livestock to the state government.

Ogun state House of Assembly
The Ogun state House of Assembly has proposed three-year imprisonment for offenders of open grazing. Photo credit: Ogun state House of Assembly
Source: Facebook

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Inside details of the new bill

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The Assembly said it passed the bill to address incessant clashes between herders and farmers in the state, noting that it had led to the loss of lives and property.

Part of a section of the bill prescribed a jail term of not less than three years without the option of fine including the forfeiture of the herds of cattle or livestock under his/her control to the state government.

The clean copy of the bill will be transmitted to Governor Dapo Abiodun for his assent.

A legal interpretation of the issue

Meanwhile, Joseph Daudu, SAN, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has spoken on the position of the law on grazing routes and how the issue should be tackled.

Daudu who was speaking to Vanguard newspaper said the issue is a residual matter, whose legislation is strictly guided and guarded by the Nigerian Constitution.

He stated that due to the legislation, the federal government cannot ride rough-shod over communities in possession of prime land.

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Recall that Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom recently commented on the decision of the Southern Governors Forum to enact laws to ban open grazing of livestock in the region.

The governor described the decision as a bold and patriotic move that will bring to an end the lingering crisis caused by armed herdsmen.

Governor Ortom's stance was contained in a statement sent to by his spokesman, Terver Akase, on Tuesday, July 6.

In a related development, there are claims that the widely reported anti-grazing law in the southeast is yet to take any noticeable effect.

Some stakeholders in Igboland are complaining that herdsmen and their cattle are still wreaking havoc in the region.

One of those who have given their voices against the trend is a former governor of Anambra, Chukwuemeka Ezeife.


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