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Court dismisses Miyetti Allah suit to stop open grazing prohibition laws

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Members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, protesting against Anti-Grazing Bill in Taraba State…yesterday. PHOTO: CHARLES AKPEJI

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday struck out a suit filed by Miyetti Allah Kautal.

The appeal is challenging the 2017 Open Grazing Prohibition and Establishment Law passed by the Benue State House of Assembly.

During the court processes, Miyetti Allah Kautal in its plea sought a restraining order against the Benue State Government from implementing the law.

The judge presiding over the case, Okon Abang, said that the plaintiff failed to comply with the earlier order of the court to amend their originating summons.

“For them to have not done anything for 19months, they should have themselves to blame. The court order remains valid.” The judge stated while delivering the court process.

According to Abang, a former judge presiding over the case in 2017, Bamidele Quadri has asked the plaintiff to amend the originating summons but he failed to do so.

The plaintiff was also awarded five days to carry out the order, but the implementation of the court orders were brought in after the time given had elapsed.

“For 19 months, since December till date, the plaintiff failed to file the amended originating summon following an order of a judge of the Federal High Court to do so with five days”. The judge said.

The judge further stated that the plaintiff was nonchalant and treated the court orders with levity.

He said since the summons were not filed by the plaintiff, there is no way the defendants would be able to counter the suit.

The judge, however, said the plaintiff’s action is an abuse of court processes and thereby dismissed the case.

The court ruled against the plaintiff that a sum of N 100,000 should be paid to the defendants.

“The plaintiff suit is hereby dismissed with a cost of N100,000 to be paid to all the 14 defendants before taking any other step,” the judge ruled.

The Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom had earlier rejected the Ruga proposal by the federal government.

According to the governor, the only way the ranches will be built is if the procedure follows the open grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment law of 2017.

The Ruga settlement scheme was introduced by the federal government and was designed to settle herdsmen and their cattle on acquired land across states in the country.

The scheme was however suspended by the federal government due to the pressure from Nigerians.


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