Ebonyi to set up special court for herders, rape cases

Engr. David Umahi, Ebonyi state governor.

The Ebonyi State government, Wednesday, directed the Chief Judge of the state, Mr. Anselm Nwaigwe, to urgently institute a special court where herders’ clashes, COVID-19 and rape cases will be tried.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of an expanded security council meeting held in Abakaliki which had Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), South East zone, Alhaji Gidado Sididiki and others in attendance.

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Also present in the meeting, which lasted for about two hours, were heads of various security agencies in the state, including the military and was chaired by the Ebonyi State governor, David Umahi.

The state insisted that grazing of cow at the new government house and Centenary city at large is prohibited.

The state also ban underage herders from grazing in any parts of the state, adding that any teen herder caught shall be tried in the new court alongside their parents or guardians.

The communique reads in part; “the governor also ban rearing of cattle at the new government house and its environs Centenary city, schools, churches and mosques and recreation centers are prohibited.

“The Chief Judge of Ebonyi State is enjoined by this meeting to urgently set up special court for the trial of offenders of COVID-19, Rape, cultism cases and header’s clashes.

“The various communities are by this meeting empowered to arrest and handover to the police any underage herder within your community and the chief herder who is the custodian of such underage persons must be prosecuted by the police, in accordance with our law.”

The statement further warned that: “Henceforth, members of Miyetti Allah and their leadership must take responsibility for any destruction of farms, crops, property, including any attack on any community in Ebonyi State; rape cases are not exempted from this.

“They must produce within seven days for arrest and prosecution the perpetrators of such dastardly acts from amongst their membership.”

In the same vein, the communique warmed that: “Communities leaders and traditional rulers, development centre coordinators, local government council chairmen, and political office holders must take responsibility and produce attackers and killers of herdsmen or the cows for arrest and prosecution within seven days whenever such occurs.

“Henceforth, herders must reside in the community where they graze their cattle,” it said.

“All persons carrying cow by foot on the tarred road, on our concrete roads must be arrested and handed over to the police within seven days for prosecution by the community within which such infractions come,” the statement read.

The communique was read by the deputy governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe.