Fulani herdsmen sue Makinde, others over anti-open grazing law


Fulani herdsmen, under the aegis of Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria, have dragged Oyo State Government, House of Assembly, as well as attorney general and commissioner for Justice over the recent anti-open grazing law of the state.

The herders described the law as a gross violation of their fundamental rights, and   prayed the state High Court to declare the law illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

As gathered, before the bill was passed by the House of Assembly and signed into law by Governor Seyi Makinde, the lawmakers had debated and organised  public hearing, during which many stakeholders submitted memoranda, including the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria.

Speaker Adebo Ogundoyin had said the law was made to check persistent clashes between local farmers and herdsmen in the state with a view to ensuring peace and food security.

In the suit, which was said to have been instituted in December 2019, the herdsmen want the court to grant them an order of perpetual injunction that would restrain all the respondents, whether by themselves, their servants, agents, officers or otherwise, from carrying out any act or omission that could aid the enactment or even enact or pass the anti-grazing bill into law as this would amount to a denial of their fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution.

They also prayed for a coordinated attempt or strategy at curtailing the livelihood of the applicants and further frustrating their lives in breach of constitutional provisions, particularly section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) goes to naught and same is invalid, null and void.

They also asked the court to grant them reliefs on aggravated, punitive and general damages of N100,000 against the respondents jointly and severally for the alleged violation of their fundamental rights.

“As a matter of cultural heritage, open rearing or grazing of livestock, having been passed onto generations to generations is the life and economy of the Fulani group on which the Fulani survives,” they said.

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