Thursday, June 7, 2018 7:03 pm
The Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, on Thursday appealed to the Chief Judge of Benue, Justice Adam Onum, to pardon and release Mr Stephen Nyitse, who sat on the traditional ruler’s stool during his coronation on March 4, 2017.
Nyitse was sentenced to four years in prison after a Chief Magistrates’ Court found him guilty on charges of trespass and impersonating the Tor Tiv on March 7, 2017.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant on Media to the Tor Tiv, Mr Freddie Adamgbe, the royal father made the call when he received Justice Onum in his palace in Makurdi.
The Tor Tiv said he had directed the Legal Adviser to the Tiv Area Traditional Council (TATC), Chief Edward Ashiakaa (SAN), to apply for clemency on behalf of Nyitse.
He assured the chief judge of the cooperation of the traditional institution.
The Tor Tiv, however, decried the rising level of impunity and lawlessness in the land, leading to criminal activities including attacks on residences of judges by miscreants.
He however, urged the chief judge not to be discouraged but to remain firm, saying that God would at all times offer protection to the righteous.
Earlier, Onum said that they were in Tor Tiv’s palace to seek for royal blessing and cooperation in carrying out their constitutional responsibilities.
Onum lamented that judges were routinely attacked in the course of discharging their duties, stressing that it was only when judges were fully secured that they would remain firm and confident in delivering judgment devoid of political manipulation.
The chief judge assured that action would be taken to ensure the release of Nyitse.
NAN reports that Nyitse on March 4, at the JS Stadium Gboko outsmarted security men and sat on the stool prepared for the coronation of the fifth Tor Tiv.
Speaking to securitymen after his arrest, Nyitse said he was prompted by God to cleanse the stool for the new king. ”
“I sat on the stool in order to cleanse it and make it comfortable for the incoming Tor Tiv.”
Rtd Brig.-Gen. Atom Kpera, the Chairman, Central Planning Committee for the coronation, who was present at the scene, ordered security men to take him outside and punish him.