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Malami’s Statement Is Political And Not Law–Ogunade

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Ijeoma Okeke

Legal Practitioner, Wale Ogunade  has criticised  the statement by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami on the ban of open grazing by southern governors

The southern governors last week at their meeting in  Asaba, the Delta State capital, banned open grazing as part of measures to address insecurity, particularly killings and kidnapping by armed herdsmen.

But Malami while speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, described the ban as unconstitutional, saying, “It is as good as saying, perhaps, maybe, the northern governors coming together to say they prohibit spare parts trading in the north.

“Does it hold water? Does it hold water for a northern governor to come and state expressly that he now prohibits spare parts trading in the north?”

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Ogunade reacting to Malami statement said he felt bad that a Senior Advocate of Nigeria could make such statement and that the statement was political and not law

He said: “My  attention has been drawn to the statement made by Attorney-General Malami, and i feel bad at the presentation because as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, he knows that his statement is political and not law . And it supports my call over the years that the office of the Attorney-General be separated from the office of Minister of Justice, because as we see with Malami’s statement, it is  politics and not law.

“As a lawyer, I know that the ban on open grazing has not affected the rights of herders to move freely and acquire land in any state for the establishment of ranches in line with the provisions of sections 41 and 43 of the Constitution. Since the Constitution does not cover the right of animals to move freely and destroy farmlands. It is grossly misleading by Malami to give the impression that the ban on open grazing has abrogated the right of herders to carry out their business.”

“In fact,  equating open grazing to spare parts selling is very pedestal, because parts sellers rent shops to sell their wares, but herders don’t pay for grazing not to talk of compensating crops damaged on farmlands. Malami should deny or retract that statement in the name of honour.”

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