The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Makurdi, on Tuesday, granted bail to four herdsmen who were arraigned for violating the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State.
The Chief Magistrate, Isaac Ajim who granted the accused bail on half a million naira each with one surety in like sum adjourned the case to April 7 for further mention.
The Police Prosecuting Officer, ASP Hyacinth Gbakor, had told the courthouse that three of the herdsmen; Adamu Ibrahim, Abubakar Usman and Salah Landi were arrested on March 27, 2020, by men of Benue State Livestock with their cows grazing in Ogobia Village in Otukpo Local Government Area the State.
Gbuakor further told the court that one other herder, Bahago Ahmadu of Gishiri Village, Ibi local government area of Taraba State was also arrested in Ogobia, Otukpo LGA of Benue State
The PPO said that their offence contravened section 19(2) of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.
When the charges were read, the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying that their cows had gone before they were arrested.
When asked what they were doing in the bush after the cows had left, they said they were eating honey.
The prosecuting Police Officer, ASP Gbakor, told the court that investigation into the matter was still ongoing, and asked the court for another date to enable the prosecutor to prove its case.
But counsel to the accused persons, Bello Abdusalam made an oral application for the bail of his clients and assured the court that he would ensure they appear in court on the next adjourned date.