Police in Benue arraign herder for alleged open grazing

Nigerian police

The Benue State Police Command has arraigned a herder, Saleh Abu, for allegedly grazing cows openly and causing damage to crops.
Abu, who lives in Awe Azara, Nasarawa State, appeared before a Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ Court on a three-count charge on Friday.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy, open grazing, and damage to crops.

The prosecutor, Inspector Godwin Ato, said that the police received a report of the alleged crimes on July 17, 2023, from Sesugh Hiligh, when the defendant and others at large drove their herd of cows and sheep into his Guinea corn, maize, and melon farm at Railway Mbamar Village in Guma Local Government Area of Benue.

The prosecutor added that the animals ate crops worth N700,000.

He said the offences contravened Section 97 of the Penal Code Law of Benue, 2004, and Section 19(1)(2)(3) of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches (Establishment) Law of Benue, 2017.

The chief magistrate, Mrs Roseline Iyorshie, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N500,000 and a surety in like sum before adjourning the case until Aug. 21 for mention.

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