A group of cattle herders, Miyetti Allah Kautak Hore Social-Cultural Association, has appealed against the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which validated the Benue State’s anti-grazing law.
The law being challenged by the association enacted by the state government in 2017 is officially referred to as ‘Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017’.
The association with two of its members, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodojo and Saleh Alhassan, had challenged the law at the Federal High Court in Abuja but lost the case.
They filed their 10-ground notice of appeal before the Court of Appeal in Abuja on July 30, 2019, praying for an order setting aside the July 4, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
They argued in their notice of appeal that the lower court’s verdict which described their suit as lacking in merit, robbed them of fair hearing and “occasioned a failure of justice”.
They also contended that the filing of “an irregular and voidable amended originating summons on May 31, 2019, without payment of default fees”, was a mistake of their counsel which ought not to be visited on them.
“The lower court ought not to shut out a litigant by dismissing his claim when the process of court amended in error without seeking extension of time to amend same,” the appellants said through their counsel, Aliyu Ahmed.
They maintained that “underassessment” or “failure of payment of default fees cannot be a basis for punishing the litigant with an order of dismissal of the suit”.