Supporting Herders Against Other Citizens Is Illegal, Falana Tells Buhari

Human Rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), says it is unconstitutional for the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to support herders ( a group of citizens) against other citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Mr. Falana said this in a statement on Monday in reaction to the decision of the Buhari government to support herders who are planning on challenging the anti-grazing law in court is not only unconstitutional but political suicide.

The Special Assistant (Media) to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Umar Gwandu, had earlier said that the Federal Government supports moves by herders to sue Southern Governors over the anti-open grazing bills they recently signed into law in their respective states.

But according to Falana, the decision of the Federal Government to take sides in the dispute between the herders and the Southern Governors is a “constitutional aberration and political suicide”.

He added, “Specifically, it is a gross violation of Section 17 of the constitution which provides that the Nigerian people are entitled to equal rights and opportunities before the law and Section 42 thereof which has prohibited the Federal Government from conferring advantage on any group of citizens.

“Accordingly, the resources of the entire Nigerian people cannot be dissipated on defending herders against State governments.”

The senior advocate noted that the alliance between the herders and the Federal Government is completely at variance with the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the government which has adopted ranching.

“In defending the herders in the case the Federal Government will certainly run into serious contradictions having made available the sum of N6.2bn to Katsina for ranching, the Federal Government will not be permitted to turn round to embrace open grazing. The court will not allow the Federal Government to approbate and reprobate at same time,” he said

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