Miyetti Allah Appeals Court Judgment on Benue Grazing Law

A GROUP, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Social-Cultural Association, has urged the Court of Appeal in Abuja to reverse the July 4, 2019, judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which rejected their request to void the Anti-Open Grazing Law passed by the Benue State House of Assembly.

The group, in a notice of appeal filed with Alhaji Abdullahi Bodojo and Saleh Alhassan, also wants the court to order the Federal High Court to re-assign the case to another judge for it to be re-heard.

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja had on July 4, 2019, judgment dismissed the suit earlier filed by the group on the grounds that they had no valid originating summons before the court.

Justice Abang awarded N100, 000 cost in favour of each of the 14 defendants in the case, which, he said, must first be paid by the plaintiffs before they could take any further steps.

In their notice of appeal filed on July 30, 2019, the appellants raised 10 grounds of appeal.

The appellants argued that the lower court was in error in holding that they had no valid originating summons even when they filed an amended one.

They also contended that the court was wrong when it held that, “The appellants filed an irregular and voidable amended originating summons on May 31, 2019, without payment of the default fees.

“Yet the lower court held that the originating summons is invalid and a nullity. 

“It is trite law that a mistake of counsel cannot be visited on the litigant, especially when it is pardonable and the irregular amended process filed on May 31, 2019, is before the court and the lower court has the duty to ensure that the suit of the appellants is heard on the merit. 

“The lower court ought not to shut out a litigant by dismissing his claim when the process of court is amended in error without seeking an extension of time to amend same. 

“More so, all the respondents have filed their various counter-affidavits against the originating summons.” 

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