A Chief Magistrate Court in Makurdi, Benue State, on Wednesday sentenced a 22-year-old herdsman, Bala Juli, to one-year imprisonment for openly grazing cattle in the state.
The Magistrate, Mr. Isaac Ajim, summarily tried and convicted the defendant after he pleaded guilty to the offence.
He, however, gave the convict an option of N500,000 fine because he was a first-time offender, but held that ignorance of the law does not constitute a defense for an accused.
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Earlier, the prosecutor, Mr. Hyacinth Gbakor, had told the court the State Commander of Livestock Guard, Mr. Linus Zaki, and his team, arrested the defendant while openly grazing his cows at Ukoho Village in Guma local government area of the state on June 12.
The prosecutor told the court that the defendant’s offence contravened section 19(2) of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue, 2017.
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