The decision of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to support herders in the challenge against anti-open grazing law in court has been described by human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, (SAN) as unconstitutional and a political suicide move.
Falana stated this while reacting to a statement released by the media aide of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Umar Gwandu, that the Buhari Government supports the decision of herders to sue the Southern Governors over the anti-open grazing bills.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria in his statement said the decision of the Federal Government to meddle in the issue is “constitutional aberration and political suicide”.
He said, “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.”
Falana noted that the alliance between the herders and the Federal Government was at variance with the National Livestock Transformation Plan of the government which had adopted ranching.
“In defending the herders in the case, the Federal Government will certainly run into serious contradictions having made available the sum of N6.2billion 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 the same time,” he said.