Man who sat on Tor Tiv’s throne gets quick sentence; jailed four years

The inauguration of James Ayatse as Tor Tiv, the paramount ruler of Tiv [Photo: Punch Newspaper]

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.


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  • ed

    4 years for someone that needed mental evaluation is completely unjust. The Tiv are being massacred annually by Fulani’s terrorist herdsmen, non of the killers are being arrested or jail. A fellow Tiv that may be joking By sitting on the wooden chair is now put away for 4 years?
    Some thing is wrong in Tiv land. Tiv has the wrong focus.

  • Sanssouci

    LWKMD!!!

  • Fadama

    I think the Judge needs a psychiatric evaluation himself. What a joke he just made of the judiciary

  • Man_Enough

    on what statute was this judgement based? as at the time the man sat on the seat, there was no tor tiv. the offense is too minor for the punishment.

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Bruv, this miscarriage of justice is apt demonstration of how insular our legal system needs to become, in order to be meaningful.

      This is the same judiciary that’s taken ages to convict any of our thieving ex-Governors.

      Do we need further proof of the judicial inability to rise above petty and political considerations?

  • Rommel

    Trespassing accepted but I am not sure how this translates to impersonation,this judge has some explanations to give,people must realize that Nigeria is a republic,perhaps they do not understand the meaning of republic

  • Jimi

    Let’s stop complaining. If 1000 of us donate 1000 each for his legal defence we will be able to teach the Tor Tiv and judge a lesson.

  • thusspokez

    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.

    Four years for what? What kind of person is this Justice P. S Chaha who seem to have forgotten that he is not a judge in a (Tiv) tribal court.

    Nigeria is a republic and the Nigerian constitution doesn’t recognise any monarch, so in the eyes of Nigeria’s law, King is just a title like the “Mr” title.

    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.

    In civilised countries, Atom Kpera would be charged by the police for incitement to violence.

    • pettersons

      I think th punishment is rather too harsh, the young man who paraded himself in Lagos as a lawyer was given 100 hour of communal service, why four years when people run in t field o play and disrupt football matches but got fined for structured society. I guess Nigeria Judges d ha the same curriculum in school that is why we always have conflicting judgement here and there.

  • Mise Akura

    In jail for four years? …that the young attempted killing the Tor-Tiv? Do they care to know if at all the did that out of excitement or ignorantly or foolishly? My Tiv people, please mind the way you go about that issue, that punishment is too much for a fellow brother. I suggest you jail him for a couple of months, punish him – it could be by giving him six strokes and then free him

  • This judgment is rather harsh I think for the “crime” of sitting on a king’s throne. It’s even unusually speedy if what I know of our judiciary as a painfully slow justice dispensing machine is anything to go by.
    One can’t help but wonder why such speed in conviction eludes us when the person on trial is one of the elite and the crime is one that makes this young man appear like a naive choir boy whose so-called crime is insignificantly petty.