By Onyeje Abutu-Joel
A Makurdi Chief Magistrates’ court has sentenced a 22-year-old herder, Bala Juli of Adadu Village in Nasarawa State, to a one year jail term in a correctional centre for openly grazing cows in Benue.
The Magistrate, Mr Isaac Ajim, summarily tried and convicted the defendant after he pleaded guilty of the offence.
He, however, gave the convict a fine option of N500,000 because he was a first offender, but held that ignorance of the law doesn’t constitute a defence for an accused.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr Hyacinth Gbakor, had said that the State Commander of Livestock Guard, Mr Linus Zaki, and his team, arrested the defendant while openly grazing his cows at Ukoho Village in Guma Local Government Area, on June 12, 2020.
The prosecutor told the court that the defendant’s offence contravened section 19(2) of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue, 2017.