In what appears to be the first high-profile judicial intervention into the crisis, a Delta State High Court sitting in Asaba has sentenced two Fulani herdsmen, Hassan Abidu and Yakubu Salem to 10 years imprisonment each for illegal possession of fire arms.
The past few months has seen a sharp increase in incidents of violent confrontations between herdsmen and farmers all over the nation. The phenomenon of coordinated attacks of farming communities by armed Fulani herdsmen have assumed dangerous but frequent dimension, leaving hundreds of people dead, and many more homeless.
States reported to have borne the brunt of these attacks include, Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Enugu and Kogi.
The two were suspected to be members of a nomadic group terrorizing farmers and indigenes of Ibusa and its environs. They were reported to be masterminds behind various organized attacks on farmers who were opposed to the havoc created by their cattle while grazing.
Justice Marcel Okoh pronounced the guilty verdict on the two Fulani nomads in a two count charge of unlawful possession of firearms proffered against them by the Attorney-General of Delta State, punishable under Section 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act Cap R.II, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010 and were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each with hard labour and without an option of fine.