The Ebonyi State Chief Judge, Mr Anselm Nwaigwe has been directed to immediately institute a special court where offenders of herder clashes, COVID-19 and rape cases will be tried.
This charge was given on Tuesday, at the end of an extended state security council meeting held with members of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in Abakiliki.
The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, had in attendance the Chairman of Southeast Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Alhaji Gidado Sididiki, leaders of other various groups in the state, heads of various security agencies in the state, including the military.
At the end, the meeting, which was chaired by the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, had in its communique (presented to Journalists) that the grazing of cattle at the new government house and its environs is prohibited.
The state also banned underage herders from grazing in any part of the state, adding that teen herders caught shall be tried in the new court alongside their parents or guardians.
The communique read in part, “The Governor bans rearing of cattle at the new government house, its environs, centenary city, schools, churches, mosques and recreation centres.”
“The Chief Judge of Ebonyi State is enjoined by this meeting to urgently set up a special court for the trial of offenders of COVID-19, rape, cultism cases and headers clashes.”
“Various communities are by this meeting empowered to arrest and handover to the police any underage herder within your community. 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, “Henceforth, members of Miyetti Allah and their leadership must take responsibility for any destruction of farms, crops, properties, including any attack on any community on Ebonyi State. Rape cases are not exempted from this.”
“They must produce within seven (7) days the perpetrators of any dastardly acts amongst their membership for arrest and prosecution.”
The communique further warned, “Community leaders, 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 (7) days whenever such occurs.”
“Henceforth, herders must reside in the community where they graze their cattle. All persons carrying cows by foot on the tarred road or 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 of the State, Dr Kelechi Igwe.