A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ado Ekiti has sentenced a herdsman, Ali Haruna, 18, to two years imprisonment for taking his cows for grazing in a farmland in Ado Ekiti and destroying crops.
The Magistrate, Idowu Ayenimo, found the accused guilty of a two-count charge of wilful and unlawful damage of farm crops at Ago Aduloju in Ado Ekiti.
The court indicated that Haruna was arraigned on January 22, 2016.
The four prosecution witnesses testified that the convict was caught in the midnight grazing his cows in the farm belonging to Abdullahi Yaho and Bello Mohammed.
The cash crops said to have been destroyed by the cows in the farm included cassava, maize, okro and pepper, all valued at N3m.
In his defence, the defendant had 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.
He held that the Police prosecutor, Mr. Olasunkanmi Bankole, had proved his case beyond every reasonable doubt.
He thereby convicted the defendant as charged without an option of fine.
The magistrate ordered that 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 defence counsel, Mr Chris Omokhafe, had prayed the court to be liberal in the dispensation of justice, saying that he was a first offender.