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Open grazing: We will arrest, try lawless herdsmen —South-West governors

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FOUR out of five South-West states that are experiencing the security threat posed by activities of Fulani herdsmen will arrest and put on trial any herdsman that breaks the law which bans night and open grazing in the states.

They have also said they would leverage on the recent pact signed at a meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum with the leadership of the umbrella body of herders in the country, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), in Akure, Ondo State, on Monday, to put a stop to the menace.

However, a Fulani group, the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), has said the outcome of the Akure meeting was not binding on its members, saying the South-West governors conceded nothing to Miyetti Allah in the agreement reached. In an exclusive interview with Saturday Tribune, the national president of GAFDAN, Alhaji Sale Bayari, cited a number of reasons why his group is taking exception to the agreement, one of which, he said, was the fact that not every Fulani herdsman is a member of MACBAN. (See full interview on pages 8 and 25).

The governments of Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti and Ogun states separately told Tribune Online on Friday that they were determined to apply the laws fully to stop attacks and security threats occasioned by the activities of the herdsmen in their respective states.

… We’ll use Amotekun to deal with erring herders- Oyo

The Oyo State government said on Friday that its anti-open grazing law would be implemented to the letter in dealing with herders who continue to engage in open grazing of their livestock.

Southwest governors

In particular, the state government said the 200 additional Amotekun corps members had been deployed in Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun areas to ensure the enforcement of the anti-open grazing law.

Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, stated this in an interview with Saturday Tribune.

He implored residents of the state to report those seen still engaging in open or night grazing to security agencies, Amotekun, the Police Mobile Force Squadron 72 in Ago-Are, or call the state’s emergency number 615.

As against open grazing, Adisa said the law permitted ranching and therefore urged all those rearing livestock to seek land for ranching and obtain permit from the state government.

He added that the law stipulates registration of herdsmen with a N200,000 fine and/or two years imprisonment for those guilty of nonregistration.

Among others, the Oyo State Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation law, 2019, states that anyone who engages in open rearing or grazing of livestock is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years or a fine of N500,000 or both.

Subsequent offenders shall upon conviction be liable to 10 years imprisonment or a fine of N2 million or both.

The law prohibits the movement of livestock on foot from one destination to another in the state, with all herdsmen mandated to submit themselves for registration and get an identification card, which must be worn at all times.

Furthermore, cattle movement is only permissible by rail wagon, truck or pick-up wagon, between 7.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m., while any person found moving livestock on foot is liable on conviction to imprisonment for five years or a fine of N500,000 or both.

The law bans a minor from grazing, herding or grazing of livestock except under the supervision of an adult, while the minor or owner of cattle is liable on conviction to a fine of N300,000 or three years imprisonment or both.

By the law, cattle owners are restricted to grazing livestock in approved ranches where persons wishing to set up ranches are to obtain permit from the state government for a period of three years, with renewal subject to the approval of the land owner.

However, the governor is empowered to revoke permit, without compensation, to the herdsman for any breach of security.

Herdsmen are to submit themselves to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for registration and after paying a specified fee, they are to be issued an identification card to be worn at all times.

The law stipulates a N200,000 fine and two years imprisonment for herdsmen found guilty of nonregistration, while anyone without identification card is liable on conviction to imprisonment for one year or a fine of N100,000 or both. Any herdsman who causes injury to any person is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for five years or a fine of N500,000 or both, and pay the medical bill of the injured person.

Also stipulated by the law is that whenever any livestock strays into any person’s land other than a ranch and causes destruction of crops, the herdsman is liable to pay compensation to the

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Ebonyi Head of Service Position: Umahi Throws Application Open

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Against the usual practice of picking from the top echelon of the Civil Service,  Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi on Tuesday threw the position of Head of Service (HoS) of the state open, asking civil servants on Grade Level 14 and above to apply within two weeks.

Umahi, in a statement by the Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, Mr Uchenna Orji, said civil servants across the 13 LGAs of the state are qualified to apply within two weeks.

“The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi requests applications from Civil Servants from Grade Level 14 and above to fill the vacancy of the Head Of Service (HOS), who shall be bowing out of Civil Service on 30th June 2021 after a meritorious and selfless service to the government and people of Ebonyi State,” the statement read in part.

The Governor further directed the civil servants to forward their applications to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG): “All applications are to be addressed to the Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, and submitted with all relevant credentials no later than 30th June, 2021.

Umahi added that “In replacing the outgoing Head of Service, the Government will be looking for the best for the State to continue the good work that the outgoing Head of Service began.

He applauded the loyalty, committed efforts and selfless service rendered by the out-going Head Of Service, Dr. Chamberlain Nwele, in the state and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Federal High Court Issues New Practice Direction For Filing Of Processes As Workers Resume

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The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court (FHC), Justice John Tsoho, has issued a new practice direction on exemption of payment of default fees for filing of processes.

The development, according to a statement by Catherine Oby-Nwandu, Chief Information Officer of FHC, on Friday night, followed the resumption of work after the two-month strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) was called off on on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, shut down all courts nationwide to demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level.

Although the industrial action was called off on Wednesday, June 9, the workers union directed all its members to resume work on Monday, June 14.

Justice Tsoho, in the statement, therefore ordered that notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the court rules, 2019, on computation of time for filling of court proceedings as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time, the period covering the JUSUN strike action would be exempted.

The statement reads: “Following the resumption of work after the strike action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June 2021 which affected court proceedings and filling of processes, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Honorable Justice John Terhemba Tsoho, announces to Hon. Judges, stakeholders and the general public, the essential need for a new Practice Direction on EXEMPTION OF PAYMENT OF DEFAULT FEES FOR FILING OF PROCESSES computation of time for the payment of default fees for extension of time for filing processes in the Federal High Court of Nigeria for the above period.

“Pursuant to the powers conferred on him, he thereby issues the following Practice Directions:
“COMPUTATION of Time for filing of court processes and payment of default fees for extension of time;
“Notwithstanding the provisions of Order 48 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 on computation of time for filling of court proceedings or doing an act as provided by the Rules and payment of default fees for extension of time thereof, the period covering the JUSUN strike action, being from 6th day of April, 2021 to 14th day of June, 2021, is hereby exempted.

“APPLICABILITY; These practice Directions shall, save to the extent or as may be otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, apply to both criminal and civil causes and matters in the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“CITATION; These Practice Directions shall be cited as the Federal High Court (Exemption of Payment of Default Fees for Filing of Processes) Practice Directions (No. 2) 2021.

“The Practice Directions take effect from Tuesday, June 15, 2021.”(NAN)

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BUHARI REMOVES ARMSTRONG IDACHABA, REPLACES HIM WITH SHEHU ILELAH AS NBC DG.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Mr Balarabe Shehu Ilelah, as the new director-general of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).

The minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, announced the appointment in a statement made available to NAN in Abuja on Friday.

The statement said Ilelah’s appointment is for a tenure of five years in the first instance.

Ilelah

It added that Ilelah is a veteran broadcaster.

Ilelah takes over from the acting director-general of the agency, Armstrong Idachaba, who had been acting since the removal of Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, the esthwhile director-general who was removed over alleged corruption last year.

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