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How southern states plan to punish defaulters of anti-grazing law


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THE penalties for flouting the anti-open grazing laws in the southern states of Nigeria range from impounding cattle to arresting and fining the defaulters, The ICIR has found.  

Abia State’s anti-grazing law has been existing since 2018

Any cattle found on any road in the state shall be impounded by the appropriate authority or taken to the nearest ranch as may be provided by the appropriate authority in the state.

Also, a fine of N200,000 or six months imprisonment or both will be imposed on any person that flouts the law that makes provision for ranching.

For Oyo State, its anti-open grazing law has been existing since 2019

The penalty for defaulting is a five-year jail term or N500,000 fine or both.

But Bayelsa State’s law was enacted on March 10, 2021

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The penalties are that any herdsman found with arms, whether licensed or not, will be arrested and any person found engaging in open grazing of livestock on foot would be arrested and prosecuted with the livestock impounded.

Rivers State’s law was enacted on August 19, 2021

The penalties include: three-year imprisonment without the option of fine and forfeiture of the herds of cattle or livestock under their control to the state government, including a fine of N300,000 on the owner of the livestock or guardian or parent of a minor who is seen grazing, rearing or herding of livestock (without supervision).

Ondo State’s law was enacted on August 31, 2021

The penalty is a minimum of N100,000 fine or three years’ imprisonment for defaulters.

Ogun’s law was enacted on July 8, 2021

The penalties are a three-year jail term without an option of fine and the forfeiture of the herds of cattle or livestock.

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Osun State’s law was enacted on September 15, 2021

The penalties include: three-year imprisonment without the option of fine and forfeiture of cattle or any livestock under the control of the offender to the state government.

Secondly, a fine of N300, 000 is imposed on anyone who flouts the law prohibiting minors from rearing cattle or doing so without adult supervision.

A conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than one year without an option of fine is on any herdsman or pastoralist who attacks or threatens to track any farmer, person or commuter whether or not an injury is occasioned by the attack.

Akwa Ibom State’s law was enacted on September 15, 2021

The penalty is that animals (that stray into farms) would be confiscated and defaulting herder will be fined. The amount, however, is unknown.

Lagos State’s law was enacted on September 20, 2021

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The penalty is 21 years imprisonment for herders found with arms.

Enugu State’s law was enacted on September 14, 2021, but there are no public details of the penalty the law stipulates.

In Ebonyi State, the governor has spoken of having laws on anti-grazing, but there is no further record of the law’s provision(s) and penalties.

In Cross River and Delta states, the bill that will bring about the ban has been passed, awaiting state governors’ assent.

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