Court Dismisses Miyetti Allah’s Suit Challenging Anti-Open Grazing Law

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A federal high court sitting in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore challenging the open grazing prohibition and establishment law passed by the Benue state house of assembly.

 

At its sitting on Thursday, Okon Abang, a judge, also awarded N100,000 damages against the plaintiff, to be paid to all the 14 defendants named in the suit.

 

He premised his judgment on the failure of the plaintiff to comply with an order issued by the court in 2017, directing the association to amend the originating summons.

 

Bamidele Qudari of the federal high court, ruled that there was no valid originating summons before the court regarding the suit.

 

The Benue state government had approved the law among other things to address the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state.

 

Samuel Ortom, the state governor, had said the destruction of farmlands by cows being reared by the herdsmen was among the major reasons for the clashes.

 

But the herders kicked against the legislation, arguing that it was an act of discrimination against them.

 

They subsequently went to court, seeking a mandatory injunction restraining the Benue state government from implementing the law.

 

Thursday’s ruling comes amid the controversy over the setting up of ‘Ruga’ for herdsmen in some states as an alternative to open grazing.

 

The federal government had to suspend its implementation after it received backlash from many Nigerians over the motive and implication of the planned settlement.

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