By Terve Ase, Makurdi
Few days after the passage of the Open Rearing and Grazing bill into law by the Benue State House of Assembly, Governor Samuel Ortom on Monday May 22 May assented to the bill into law.
Ortom, who, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Makurdi, the Benue State capital said the bill is a welcome development in the state and vowed to protect the state from intruders and criminals.
According to the bill, “Nobody will be permitted to carryout open grazing outside the permitted ranches.
“Any person who contravene this act shall be guilty and upon conviction be sentenced to 5 years imprisonment with a fine of 1 million.
“Where damage is done to the crops the farm will be evaluated and the manager of the livestock be compelled to pay.
“Movement of livestock on foot within the state is hereby prohibited. Any person who contravene this shall pay be sentenced to one year imprisonment or pay a fine of 500k
“Any livestock owner or manager who carries fire arms shall be treated under the penal code. All ranchers shall engage the services of security agencies.
“Any person who rustles cattle shall be sentenced to 5 years imprisonment or pay a fine of 100k per cow. Any livestock wandering shall be impounded by the department of livestock.
“Any livestock impounded and the owner not found shall be auctioned to the public and the proceeds be deposited into the state consolidated revenue account.
“There shall be established a special open prohibition TAX FORCE they shall enforce this laws as stipulated.”