Ortom signs anti-open grazing law amendment

Benue state governor Samuel Ortom

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, Thursday, signed the law amending the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law, 2017, popularly called anti-open grazing law.

The new law reviews the fine for impounded cows from N2,000 to 50,000  with another N20,000 for safe keeping if the owner fails to show up the first day the animals is impounded. 

Speaking after signing of the law, the governor said that the amendment became necessary because the law had a lacuna.

He stressed that the amount charged as fine was too meagre owing to the sufferings encountered by the Livestock Guards and other security agencies while trying to arrest animals that violate the law.

He said the fine had been increased from N2,000 to N50,000 per animal.

“Also, after paying the stipulated fine of N50,000 and the owner of the animals failed to move them they will pay N20,000 per animal for each day that the animals might be under the care of the livestock guards.

“If the owner of the animals failed to pay the stipulated fine after seven days, the animals will be auctioned in line with the amended law.

“Apart from the change in the fine, every other thing in the law remained unchanged,” the governor said.

Earlier, the Speaker of the Benue Assembly, Mr Titus Uba, said they had worked on the law to make it more effective.

The speaker said that it had provided robust solutions to the herders/farmers clashes, which has claimed many people and property and has lingered for several years.