From Moses Mbaiorga, Gboko
In order to put to rest the age-long falsehood that Tiv people offer their wives to visitors for entertainment, the renowned Tiv socio-cultural organisation, Mzough U Tiv (MUT), under the leadership of CP Iorbee Ihagh Rtd. has approached a Gboko High Court with a writ of summons and a 19-page Statement of Claim against Tiv Area Traditional Council, TATC.
This is coming on the heels of a viral defamatory statement made on national television by the recently evicted housemate in the ongoing Big Brother Naija All Stars Season, Miss Venita Akpofure, that, Tiv people do give out their wives to visitors for sexual pleasure as mark of hospitality.
Incorporated Trustees of Mzough U Tiv felt aggrieved with the allegation, including how Tiv Area Traditional Council has handled the issue with levity and moved to High Court, Gboko Division on September 25, 2023, to compel TATC to address the matter in such a way it would not resurface, permanently.
The Mzough U Tiv noted that, verbal condemnation of such a strong derogatory statement by the Tor Tiv, His Royal Majesty, Prof James Ayatse was not enough to cushion the negative effect it has on Tiv people as researchers, public affairs commentators and historians would not only spread the falsity but can transfer to the next generation.
The Plaintiff stated: “the ethnic defamation cast in this falsehood of Tiv men giving their wives for sexual pleasure to their visitors has cast the planitiff and the entire Tiv Nation in false light and opprobrium of deviant conduct and criminally perverse attributes, capable of making historians, researchers and public affairs commentators to keep record of such false narrative, most likely to be handed down to generations yet unborn.
“As the umbrella cultural organization, MUT is saddled with the responsibility of protecting the collective and even individual interests of the Tiv race, the plaintiff is aggrieved that the Defendant has not taken any step apart from verbal condemnation, to arrest the situation and put the matter in proper and true perspective; hence has filed this Suit to seek redress,” it said.
The plaintiff made the following prayers: “A declaration IN REM that under Tiv Native Law and Custom, a Tiv man does not offer his wife to his visitor for sexual pleasure, fun or any of such immoral acts.
“An order of mandatory injunction compelling the Defendant to convene forthwith, a meeting of the “Ijir Tamen” (Supreme Council of the Tiv Area Traditional Council) for the purpose of commencing the process of issuing and subsequently issuing without fail, a codified resolution that under Tiv Native Law and Custom, a Tiv person does not offer his wife to his visitor for sexual pleasure, fun or any of such immoral acts.”
MUT further backed up its stand with published books on Tiv People’s history, oral interviews with the who-and-who in Tiv nation and named the pioneer President, Customary Court of Appeal, Benue State and former President-General, Mzough U Tiv, Hon. Justice P. Utsaha; former President-General, Mzough U Tiv, Chief Engr Edward Ujege and the incumbent President-General, CP Iorbee Ihagh as those who will testify in the court.
No date has yet been fixed for the hearing of the matter.
The Voice however, gathered that, TATC, under the leadership of HRM, Prof James Ortese Ayatse had strongly condemned Miss Venita’s allegation, and described it as false. He had expressed his readiness to slam the erstwhile BBN star with law suit.
It is also learnt that a court case worth over 10 billion naira has been slammed against Venita Akpofure. The suit has been submitted to Festus Keyamo Chambers in Wuse Zone 1, Abuja.