Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti has sentenced a herdsman, Ali Haruna, to two years imprisonment for destroying crops in the course of grazing his cows in a farmland in Ado-Ekiti.The Magistrate, Idowu Ayenimo, in his judgement, said the accused was arraigned in his court on Jan 22, 2016 on a two-count charge of willful and unlawful damage of farm crops at Ago Aduloju in Ado-Ekiti.
The 18-year-old Mr. Haruna was confirmed by the four prosecuting witnesses to have been caught in the midnight grazing his cow in the farm belonging to Abdulahi Yaho and Bello Mohammed.
The cash crops said to have destroyed by the cows in the farm included cassava, maize, okro and pepper, all valued at N3 million.
The defendant told the court that the owner of the cows lived in Ilorin, Kwara.
Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose
The magistrate said the court did not believe Mr. Haruna’s defence as it was not credible.
He held that the Police prosecutor, Olasunkanmi Bankole, had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt.
He thereby convicted the defendant as charged without option of fine.
The magistrate ordered that the sentence should run concurrently, explaining that the term was minimal because the offence was committed before the Grazing Law was promulgated in the state.
The Ekiti State government recently outlawed the grazing of livestock in open areas without permission.
Defaulters face sentences and fines.
The defence counsel, Chris Omokhafe, had prayed the court to be liberal in the dispensation of justice, saying that he was a first offender.