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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.