A 30-year-old man, Stephen Nyitse, who sat on the Tor Tiv’s throne shortly before the new king was installed on Saturday in Gboko, Benue State, has been jailed for four years.
Mr. Nyitse was handed the sentence on Monday after being convicted by a Chief Magistrate Court presided over in Gboko by Justice P. S Chaha.
The court held that the convict was guilty of trespass and impersonating the new Tor Tiv, V, Orchivirigh James Ayatse.
According to the prosecution, the convict made confessional statement to the police during interrogation that he was under an evil spell to do what he did on that day.
Justice Chaha described the action as a disgrace to the Tiv nation for which he deserved no mercy, and sentenced him to serve as deterrent to others.
Mr. Nyitse, on Saturday at the JS Stadium Gboko, outsmarted security men and sat on the stool prepared for the coronation of the fifth Tor Tiv, James Ayatse.
The Tiv ethnic nationality is the largest ethnic group in Benue State. Tivs are also found in neighbouring Taraba State.
Speaking to security personnel under interrogation, Mr. 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,” he said.
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.
The leader of the Tiv nation, Tor Tiv V, Iorzua Ortese James Ayatse, previously served as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture and the pioneer vice chancellor of the federal university, Dustin-Ma, Katsina State.