The spokesperson of the Senate, Sen. Ajibola Basiru, has said there is no grazing route law in Nigeria.
Basiru, who represents Osun Central Senatorial District, said this following a statement credited to President Muhammadu Buhari on the farmers-herders crisis.
The president while fielding questions in an interview on Arise Television last Thursday, said: “What I did was ask him (AGF) to go and dig the gazette of the first republic when people were obeying laws.
“There were cattle routes and grazing areas. Cattle routes were for when they (herders) are moving up country, North to South or East to West, they had to go through there.”
But in an interview with The PUNCH, Basiru said the gazette that Buhari was referring to was a product of a decree promulgated in Northern Nigeria in the 1960s, adding that the Land Use Act recognised by the constitution has rendered it ineffective.
“Nigerians should be concerned over whether the Nigerian President is actually getting the correct legal advice from his Attorney-General and the legal team.
“As far as I am concerned, as a legal practitioner, there is nothing like grazing routes or grazing reserve law, in the laws of the federation of Nigeria. There is nothing like that.
“There is no federal legislation that the President can implement over such matter. The executive powers of the President merely rely on the powers of the National Assembly to make laws, when you look at Section 5 of the Constitution.
“Any area where the National Assembly cannot make laws, and there is no express grants of powers to the President under the constitution, a purported exercise of power by the President in that regard, will be null and void because it is inconsistent with the Constitution by section 1(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
“I am aware that there is a Northern Nigerian law on reserve and grazing routes which was promulgated by a 1964 decree by the premier of the defunct Northern Nigeria region.”
Basiru, who is a member of All Progressives Congress, said there is no how a decree for Northern Nigeria will be implemented as a federal law.
“It is not a federal law unless the legal adviser to Mr President is equating a Northern Nigeria law, which is not applicable in the West, mid-West, and Eastern region or in anywhere in the Southern part of Nigeria, to be a federal or a Nigerian law.
“The President does not have the power to implement that law because it is not a federal law. He can only implement federal legislation made by the National Assembly or deemed to have been made by the National Assembly.
“The grazing routes law is not a National Assembly law, so there is nothing for the President to implement. It is regrettable that the President has not been properly advised by his Attorney-General and the legal team,” the Senator added.