A herdsman, Ali Haruna, has been sentenced to two years in prison by a court in Ekiti State for grazing his cattle in a farmland in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.
Eighteen-year-old Haruna was arraigned on January 22, 2016 on a two-count charge of willful and unlawful damage of crops at a farm in Ago Aduloju, a farming community in Ado Ekiti Local Government Area of the state.
The Chief Magistrate, Idowu Ayenimo, said in his judgement, on Monday, that his court didn’t believe in the defence put up by Haruna and held that his evidence was not credible.
Ayenimo also said that the police prosecutor, Mr Olasunkanmi Bankole, had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt.
The four witnesses called by the prosecution confirmed that Haruna had been caught in the midnight grazing his cow in a cash crops farm belonging to Abdulahi Yaho and Bello Mohammed.
Among the crops destroyed in the process were cassava, maize, okro and pepper, which value was put at N3million.
Haruna, in his defence, had said that the owner of the cows lives in Ilorin, Kwara State.
Haruna’s counsel, Mr Chris Omokhhafe, had prayed the court to be liberal in the dispensation of justice, and had averred that the defendant was a first offender.
Chief Magistrate Idowu Ayenimo, however, sentenced the defendant to two years on each of the count charge without option of fine and the sentence should run concurrently.
He said the sentence was minimised because the offence was committed before the grazing law came into operation in Ekiti State.