Court Affirms Right of States to Ban Open Grazing in their Territory

May 23, 2021
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The Federal High Court, Abuja on Thursday affirmed the right of Nigerian states to implement anti-grazing laws in their domains.

This position weakens that of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who had said such a ban is unconstitutional and infringes on the rights of movement enshrined in the nation’s laws.

The court indicated this when it rejected a suit seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to enforce the Benue Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law of 2017.

In her judgment delivered during virtual proceedings, the judge, Ijeoma Ojukwu, held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
The judge, in the judgement, also said the enforcement of the anti-grazing law having been validly passed by the Benue House of Assembly, for instance, “lies with the state government”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge, in dismissing the suit, said the matter is not justiciable, implying that it is not a matter that a court of law can adjudicate on.

‘It’s matter of misconduct not triable by court’

For her, the matter of the enforcement of the law borders on the issue of non-compliance with the oath of office and misconduct which the National Assembly is empowered to deal with.

“In my view, the courts do not have the jurisdiction to entertain any suit bordering on compliance with the oath of office of the president for the reason that it is not justiciable.

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