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Three herders convicted in Benue for violating anti-open grazing law

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Military recovers large cache of arms abandoned by bandits in Agatu

Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Isaac Ajim, has convicted three herdsmen for violating the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017.

The convicts are Haruna Adamu and Iliyasu Adam of Obi Council, as well as Ibrahim Adamu Lafia Council, all of Nasarawa State.

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When the case came up, the Prosecuting Officer, ASP Hyacinth Gbakor, told the court that on March 21, 2020, the Commander of Benue State Livestock Guards, Linus Zaki, while on patrol with his team, saw the three herders with cows grazing at Udei, Guma Council of Benue.

He added that the guards arrested the herders for contravening section 19(2)of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State, 2017.

After pleading pleaded guilty to the charge, the magistrate sentenced them to one year.

On listening to their plea for leniency, Ajim tempered justice with mercy and gave them the option of N500,000 fine as first offenders.

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Meanwhile, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke in conjunction with Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Special Forces and 72 Battalion troops yesterday carried out a cordon-and-search operation in Odogoke and Odejo communities in Agatu Council of Benue to apprehend bandits and recovered a large cache of arms.

The military, in a statement signed by the Acting Director Defence Media Operations,
Brig-Gen. Benard Onyeuko, revealed that the combined forces launched the operation following deadly clashes on March 23, 2020.

During the operation, the bandits fled from the area abandoning their weapons.

According to Onyeuko, items recovered from the two settlements include one double-barrelled gun, 19 locally-made rifles, one pistol, four rounds of 7.62x54mm ammunition and three cartridges for pump action rifle.

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), he said, enjoined the public in the general area to come up with credible information to help the troops in combating insurgency.

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