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All you need to know about Delta State anti-open grazing law

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All you need to know about Delta State anti-open grazing law
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All you need to know about Delta State anti-open grazing law

By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe Esq
#eacgovdelta

The anti-open grazing law of Delta State, is now in force, and enforcement is deemed to be effective from the date the governor assented to it, which is 30th September, 2021.

The Law consists of PART I and PART II, with 28 Sections. Part 1 contains General Provisions while Part II provides for Transition Period, Special Task Force, Prohibitions/Penalties and Licenses.

Part I, Section 1(1) States; This Law may be cited as the DELTA STATE LIVESTOCK BREEDING, REARING AND MARKETING REGULATION LAW, 2021.

The law provides for the establishment of a Livestock Management Committee to be chaired by the Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, with members from relevance government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, one member representing each of the senatorial districts, a representative of state cattle dealers association, state branch of the national union of butchers, a representative of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

The functions of the committee is stated in section 4, which shall include;

(a) Subject to the approval of the Governor; establishing, controlling, managing and maintaining a designated area established under the Law;

(b). Designating and establishing Inspection Posts to ensure the entry of healthy livestock into the state;

(c). Subject to paragraph (d) of this section, conserving and preserving in its natural state the designated areas and ensuring the preservation and protection of any object of geological, historical, aesthetic or scientific interest;

(d). Approving the development of facilities within the designated areas;

(e). Registration and issuance of license to Livestock Breeders, Rearers and Traders;

(f). Considering for the approval of the Governor, applications for the establishment of private ranches, feedlots and homestead stables;

And

(g). Carrying out such other functions as the Governor may expressly direct in relation to Livestock Breeding, Rearing and Marketing in the state.

The purport of the above section is that the cattle business is now regulated and the committee is saddled with the responsibility of receiving and processing of applications, and to ensure that all breeders and rearers as well as marketers are captured in the state database, and stakeholders clearly identified for effect control and management of Livestock business in the state.

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PART II – TRANSITION PERIOD, SPECIAL TASK FORCE, PROHIBITIONS AND LICENSES: which shall come into effect three months after the Governor’s Assent.

Designated Areas shall have a minimum of 5,000 square meters of Land and may include one or more of the following;

(a) an abattoir, (b) a Veterinary Clinic, (c) a Livestock Market, (d) an administrative office; and (e) a security post.

The Special Taskforce shall comprise the following;

(a) the Chairman of the Local Government Council or his representative, as Chairman;

(b) a Livestock Officer from the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources;

(c) one representative from; the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Cattle dealers/Rearers Association in the Local Government, National Butchers Union of Nigeria in the Local Government, all Farmers Association of Nigeria in the Local Government, the Director of Personnel Management of the Council, as Secretary of the Task Force.

Section 12(1) States that no owner shall permit their Livestock to be at large, that is, not to allow their cattle or any Livestock to move freely out of the designated areas contained in the Law.

And subsection (2) of Section 12, States that where Livestock is found at large, the owner of the Livestock (including cattle) is deemed, in the absence of evidence in the contrary, to have permitted the Livestock to be at large.

And Section 13 of the clearly stated the field of Livestock production to include the following;

(a) having custody or control of Livestock in a Designated Area or Private Ranch;

(b) the establishment and operation of Private Ranches;

(c) Livestock Breeding/Production or Rearing;

(d) Livestock Trade, Processing or Marketing; or

(e) any other activities as the Commissioner may determine by Regulations issues in accordance with Section 16 of this Law.

Section 17 of the Law prohibited open Normadic Livestock Rearing and Grazing in the state. And offender shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction be liable to a term of two (2) years imprisonment or a fine of N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) or both.

Subsection 2 of Section 17 states further that without prejudice to the remedies and/or penalties available under any applicable Law where a contravention under subsection (1) causes;

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(a) damage to farm, crops or property of any person, the owner or manager of such Livestock shall after evaluation by the Committee of the damage, pay the prevailing value of monetary compensation of the farm, crops or property so damaged, to the aggrieved person;

(b) injury to any person within the State, the owner or Manager of such Livestock shall be guilty of an offence and upon conviction be liable to not more than a term of two (2) years imprisonment and shall pay any medical bill of the injured person and such other compensation as the Court may determine; and

(c) the death of any person within the State, the owner or Manager shall in addition to any criminal liability for causing the death of such person, pay compensation to the family of the deceased as the Court may determine.

Section 18 of the Law, now in force in Delta State, deals with the prohibition of Movement of Livestock on Foot.

Subsection (1) says; Movement of Livestock on foot from one destination to another in the State is hereby prohibited. Such movement shall only be by vehicle between the hours of 6am and 7pm.

Subsection (2); Any person(s) found moving Livestock on foot within or across any part of the state commits an offence and is liable to;

(a) for a first offender, a fine of Three Hundred Thousand Naira (N300,000.00) or six months imprisonment or both;

(b) for a subsequent offender, a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000.00) or one year imprisonment or both.

Section 23 of the Law now in force in Delta State, states in Subsection (1) that; Any person who grabs land for the purposes of grazing or ranching or other related purposes commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of not less than ten (10) years imprisonment without an option of fine.

Subsection (2); Where the act in subsection (1) of this Section results in the loss of life, the person(s) who committed the act shall in addition to any criminal liability for causing such loss of life, if found guilty, pay compensation to the family of the deceased as the court may determine.

Subsection (3); Where in any Court proceeding under this Section, the dependants of the land grabber are found on such land, the Court may issue an order evicting them from the land.

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Section 24 – Prohibition of Livestock Rustling. Subsection (1) Any person(s) who rustles Livestock from any designated area or Private Ranch commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a term of not less than three (3) years imprisonment or a fine if One Hundred Thousand Naira (300,000.00) per animal or both.

Subsection (2) “Without prejudice to the approval and/or penalties under any other applicable Law in the State, where a rustler;

(a) injures, or maims any person while carrying out his activities, he shall on conviction be liable to five (5) years imprisonment or a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000.00), or both, and payment of such compensation to the Livestock Owner as the Court may determine; or

(b) causes death, he shall, in additional to any criminal liability for causing such death, pay the Livestock Owner or the Owner’s personal representative such compensation as the Court may determine.

Sections 25, 26 and 27 of the Law now in force in Delta State, deals with the permission and inspection of Livestock before slaughtering. Payment of N300,000 fine for slaughtering any diseased Livestock in the State, while unlawful slaughter of Livestock attract a fine of N300,000.

Failure to obtain a License attracts N200,000 fine upon conviction, and buying Livestock from a place other than a Livestock market attracts a penalty of N100,000.00 upon conviction. Such Livestock shall be confiscated and sold in accordance with Section 21.

Section 21 of the Law provides for sale of such Livestock bought in a place other than a designated area, and those impounded and not claimed within seven days, and must be sold by auction to the public, and proceeds deposited in the Consolidated Revenue Account of the State.

Section 28, which is the last section of the Law, States the jurisdiction of the Court. It States that; Trials of any offence created by this Law shall be by summary trial in the Magistrates Court, provided that, where the Magistrate Court does not have jurisdiction, the High Court shall try such offences.

Thus, the Law gave jurisdiction to both Magistrates Court and the High Court of Justice.

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun
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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

An Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta on Tuesday affirmed the appointment of the 75 coronet Obas installed by the former Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun.

Amosun had upgraded the 75 village heads to Coronet Obas nine days to the expiration of his administration .

But on assumption of duty, Governor Dapo Abiodun set up a committee, which reviewed and recommended that the promotion of the traditional rulers from Baale to Oba be reversed.

In February, Abiodun announced the demotion of the Obas, as recommended by the committee chaired by the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle.

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Miffed by the development, the 75 Obas dragged the governor and other officials of the state government to court, asking for their reinstatement and payment of their entitlements.

The coronet Obas also got a interlocutory injunction that maintained their appointment as coronet Obas till the Court said otherwise.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, in his judgement declared the removal of the Obas, null and void.

Akinyemi also granted the Obas a perpetual injunction, barring the defendants, the Ogun State Governor, State Commissioner for Local government and Cheiftancy Affairs, the Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Local government and Cheiftaincy Affairs or its agents from removing them from office except in fulfilment of the law.

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High Court Affirms Appointment Of 75 Obas Sacked By Abiodun

He also ordered that the claimants (the coronet Obas) be paid all renumeration attached to their offices from the date of their installation up till the moment of the judgement.

The Judge also ruled that the Obas were not given a fair hearing by the review committee set up by the State Governor, faulting the process.

On the argument raised by the defending counsel that the then Executive Council was misled before the appointment of the Oba, Justice Akinyemi ruled that there is know evidence of misleading in the evidence presented by the defence counsel and that if there was ever a misleading evidence ,it didn’t come from the claimants.

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He said the misleading evidence came from the State Ministry of local government and Chieftaincy affairs represented by the then Commissioner in the Ministry as a member of the then State Executive Council.

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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG's Recovered Assets
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Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

Mr Malami says a syndicate reportedly from the ministry reportedly sold federal government’s recovered assets “without his knowledge”.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has set up a panel to probe alleged fraudulent sale of recovered assets of the federal government.

Mr Malami said the federal government was yet to commence sale of its recovered looted assets.

In a press statement on Tuesday, Mr Malami’s spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, acknowledged a media report, claiming that a “syndicate allegedly from the ministry sells federal government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

“It is important to set the record straight that the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has not officially started the sale of Federal Government’s property,” the statement read in part.

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Mr Gwandu also said the AGF neither approved nor ordered the sale of any property.

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN has set up a 5-member Committee to investigate and verify the authenticity of the media report which allegedly claims that syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice sells Federal Government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

Mr Gwandu made reference to a circular signed by the Solicitor General of the Federation Umar Mohammed, dated November 29, 2021.

Malami Begins Probe Into Reported Fraudulent Sale Of FG’s Recovered Assets

The circular was titled, ‘The Constitution of a Committee to investigate the alleged sale of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Property by syndicate in the Ministry’.

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“A committee is hereby constituted to investigate the allegation with the view to unravelling the veracity or otherwise of the publication” the circular partly read.

According to the statement, the committee chaired by the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, was inaugurated on Tuesday.

It is saddled with the responsibility of unveiling the accuracy of the publication and recommend ways of handling the matter in accordance with the provisions of the extant laws.

It is expected to complete the assignment within one week and submit its report of their investigation to the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

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“Individuals, groups, companies, institutions or organisations that claimed to have associated with the alleged syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice in relation to purchase of houses, landed property, vehicles, vessels, plants and machineries belonging to the Federal Government are encouraged to come out with any information, evidence or document regarding the alleged sales,” Mr Malami was quoted to have urged Nigerians.

Mr Gwandu said the “Secretariat of the Investigation Committee can be contacted at the Office of the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice and be reached within one week from 1st December, 2021 or via email: investigation.committee@justice.gov.ng.”

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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment
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Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

Uneasy calm on Tuesday evening pervaded the Senate wing of the National Assembly as members of the Senate Committee on Army clashed over alleged lopsidedness in recent recruitments carried out by the Nigerian Army, NA.

The development happened during an interactive session between members of the committee and the Commander, Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army, Major General S.O Olabanji.

Trouble started when a member of the committee who doubles as the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Senator Abdullahi Ibrahim Danbaba (PDP Sokoto South) took up General Olabanji on alleged lopsided nature of recruitment carried out by the Army recently.

But the acting chairman of the committee, Senator Abba Moro (PDP Benue South) who presided over the session, ruled Danbaba out of order, saying “this meeting is not for such enquiry.”

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Apparently irked by the development, another member of the committee, Senator Barinada Mpigi (PDP Rivers South East), raised the issue again, saying “lopsidedness in recruitment is not an issue to be put aside or rule against.”

Senator Moro again ruled against the enquiry, insisting that the session was not for review of recruitment made by the Army, but on Tactical Training and Doctrine men and officers.

“The questions being raised by my colleagues on alleged lopsided recruitments are being thrown to the wrong person. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt – Gen. Farouk Yahaya is the one who can do justice to such allegation or enquiry,” he said.

Angered by the insistence of Senator Moro that questions on recruitment should be entertained at the session, Senators Danbaba and Mpigi stormed out of the meeting.

Expressing his anger to journalists on what transpired at the session, Senator Danbaba said he walked out from the meeting with Senator Mpigi based on dictatorial action of Senator Moro.

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“He shouldn’t have ruled us out of order since the military man whom the question was directed to, did not complain.

Just in: Members of National Assembly fight over Army recruitment

“The issue of marginalization in recruitment has never been responded to, it is part of the oversight process of the committee to ensure that whatever is to be done should be done to ensure justice, the Nigerian Army like any institution of government in Nigeria is supposed to comply with provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and that constitution has made it very clear that the issue of federal character and representation is paramount as a constitutional issue.

“I’m not blaming the Army, the Army has been performing very well, but at the same time, the issue of recruitment is very very important.

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“I left the meeting, I stormed out with Mpigi because we were angry,” he said.

Defending his action, Senator Moro in a counter interview with journalists, said he had no any regret for ruling Danbaba out of order as far as the issue of alleged lopsided recruitment was concerned.

“Danbaba and Mpigi’s questions were directed to a wrong person. What explanation were they expecting from Commander, Training and Doctrine Command on recruitment.

“Besides, the committee had tabled the issue before the Chief of Army Staff few months ago with response bothering on physical and medical reasons for those recruited and those who failed in the exercise,” he stressed.

It was, however, gathered that Senator Danbaba vowed to take the matter to the Leader of the Senate, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi North) for formal complaint.

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