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Court dismisses bid to compel Buhari to enforce anti-grazing law

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday dismissed a suit seeking to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to enforce the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law put in place by the Benue State government in 2017.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who delivered the ruling in a virtual court proceeding, held that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

She consequentially dismissed the suit.

The suit was filed by one Mathew Nyiutsa against the President.

He said the President, by his oath of office, has a mandatory obligation to uphold and preserve the law of the land.

He, however, said the President failed to abide by his oath of office when he refused to implement the Benue Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law.

The plaintiff insisted that despite the existence of the law, herdsmen had continued to practice open grazing, engaged in killings and destructions of property in Benue State.

READ ALSO: Benue Youths tongue-lash Buhari over comments against Gov Ortom on grazing

The judge held that the failure of the President to discharge his official responsibilities in accordance with his oath of office was not “justiciable” and that the court could not hold the President accountable for not abiding by his oath of office.

She said: “In my view, the courts do not have the jurisdiction to entertain any suit bordering on compliance with the oath of office of the President for the reason that it is not justiciable.

“When the person, in this regard, the President, fails to abide by the oath, the National Assembly, in line with the set down procedures, may consider it a misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office and take the appropriate measures under the constitution.

“It is not the duty of this court to adjudicate on.

“The plaintiff may have genuine concerns in respect of the facts averred, but there are procedures set out by law to address issues concerning citizens’ rights and violations.”

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