Herdsmen drag Oyo govt to court over anti-grazing law

Herdsmen under the aegis of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria have sued the Oyo State government and the state House of Assembly to court over the state’s anti-grazing law.

The group also joined as respondents in its suit, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

In its efforts to guide against disturbing clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state, the government of Oyo State recently signed the bill into law.

However, the development did not go down well with herders in the state. They said that the law violated their fundamental rights.

Consequently, in a suit marked M/744/2019, they prayed the court to rule that the new law was illegal, null and void.

They further prayed the court to grant to them an order of a perpetual injunction restraining all the respondents, “whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers or otherwise from carrying out any acts or an omission which is likely to aid the enactment of the anti-grazing bill into law as this would amount to a denial of the fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution of Nigeria.”

The herders also asked the court to rule that law was targeted to obstruct their means of livelihood against section 33(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

The court, according to them, should also grant N100, 000 against the respondents, jointly and severally, for the violation of their fundamental rights.

The herders added, “As a matter of cultural heritage, open rearing or grazing of livestock, having been passed onto generations to generations; is the life and economy of the Fulani group on which the Fulani survives.”

The bill under contention makes open grazing of livestock in Oyo State an offence punishable by law.

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