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Court  orders Afolayan, ex-navy Chief, to pay N9m to herdsman for seizing 42 cows

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An Ilorin High Court has ordered a retired navy chief, Vice- Admiral Samuel Olajide Afolayan, to pay N9 million  being the cost of damages and for  detaining 42  cows belonging to a Fulani  herdsman, Alhaji  Abubakar Abdullahi, illegally and unconstitutionally.

The verdict, delivered on January 9, 2018, indicated that the retired admiral was also ordered to pay  N500,000 for  each day of  default of the judgement debt.

Justice Adeyinka Sikiru Oyinloye  gave the judgment  in  suit NO.KWS/83M/2017. The herdsman, Abdullahi, had sought the declaration of the court that the seizure and/or detention of his 60 cows by the respondent  was bizarre, unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional. He also sought the respondent’s  unconditionally release  of the cows  with immediate effect, and another order that the respondent should tender unreserved apology to be published in two national dailies within two weeks of the judgment.. N10m was demanded by the applicant. According to him, security guards attached to  Afolayan had accosted his son outside the farm of the respondent in Obo-Ile in Ekiti local government area of Kwara State and pointed gun at him while he was rearing his cows on  May  17 2017 and seized the 60 cows. According to him, despite frantic efforts to get the cows back, the respondent  held on to them, insisting that N5m had  to be paid to get them back. Afolayan  in his defence, told the court that the cows were led into his farm on the said day and destroyed his cassava and maize farm worth N2.5m while the applicant burnt  his cassava processing plant which made him to insist that he must pay for the losses estimated  at  N15m, which was later reduced to N5m after  pleas. While delivering his judgment, Justice  Oyinloye said  though the applicant claimed 60 cows were involved,  the respondent admitted seizing only 42.

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