A chief magistrate’s court sitting in Ado-Ekiti, Ondo State has sentenced an 18-year-old herdsman, Ali Haruna, to two years imprisonment for grazing his cows in a farmland in Ado-Ekiti and destroying crops.
The Magistrate, Idowu Ayenimo, in his judgement, said the accused, Ali Haruna was arraigned in his court on January 22, 2016 on a two-count charge of willful and unlawful damage of farm crops in Ago Aduloju in Ado-Ekiti.
Haruna was confirmed by the four prosecuting witnesses to have been caught in the midnight grazing his cows in the farm belonging to Abdulahi Yaho and Bello Mohammed.
The cash crops said to have been destroyed by the cows included cassava, maize, okro and pepper, all valued at N3 million.
In his defence, the defendant told the court that the owner of the cows lived in Ilorin, Kwara.
The magistrate said 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 reasonable doubt.
He thereby convicted the defendant as charged without an option of fine.
The magistrate ordered that the sentence should run concurrently and explained 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.