A herdsman, Ali Haruna, has been sentenced to two years in prison by a Magistrate Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti for grazing his cows in a farmland in Ado-Ekiti and destroying crops worth millions of naira.
The Magistrate, Idowu Ayenimo, said the accused was arraigned in his court on Jan 22, 2016, on a two-count charge of willful and unlawful damage to farm crops at Ago Aduloju in Ado-Ekiti.
The 18-year-old herdsman, Ali Haruna was confirmed by the four prosecuting witnesses to have been caught in the midnight grazing his cow on the farm belonging to Abdulahi Yaho and Bello Mohammed.
The cash crops said to have been destroyed by the cows in the farm included cassava, maize, okra and pepper, all valued at N3 million.
The defendant, however, told the court that the owner of the cows lived in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
The magistrate said that the court did not believe Haruna’s defence as it was not credible, holding that the Police prosecutor, Olasunkanmi Bankole, had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt.
He thereby convicted the defendant as charged without an 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 have after some Fulani herdsmen allegedly invaded Oke-Ako in Ikole local government area of the State, killing two residents of the town and injuring others, outlawed the grazing of livestock in open areas without permission and defaulters face sentences and fines.
Governor Ayo Fayose had stated emphatically that anyone interested in cattle farming should get their own private cattle ranch.