The Bayelsa State Government will arrest and prosecute herders and livestock owners who are caught with firearms when the state’s anti-open grazing bill is passed into law, The Frontliners news has learnt.
Governor Douye Diri is expected to sign the bill into law this week.
The state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Biriyai Dambo SAN, stated this while speaking at the public hearing on the legislative document titled, ‘Livestock Breeding and Marketing Regulation Bill, 2021’ at the House of Assembly Complex, Yenagoa, on Monday.
The public hearing was organised by the House Joint Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources; Trade, Industry and Investment; Environment, and Security, which is headed by Tonye Isenah, a former speaker.
Dambo said the state was not coming up with a fresh law on possession of firearms through the bill to prosecute offenders, but the state would arraign such flouters under the Firearms Act, a federal law.
He posited that the essence of the bill was to prevent herders-farmers clashes and forestall a breach of the peace in Bayelsa as currently happening in some states.
“What we are referring to here is the Firearms Act, which is a federal law. So what we are saying here is that we are not creating a new law. We are just saying that anybody that goes foul of this (state) law will be prosecuted under the federal law