Incorporated Trustees of Mzough U Tiv, an umbrella body for Tiv nationalities worldwide, has instituted a suit against the Tiv Area Traditional Council (TATC) over alleged cultural practice by the Tiv tribe.
The allegation borders on claims that the Tiv man entertains his stranger with his wife, reports The Nation.
Lead counsel to Mzough U Tiv, Sabastine Hon, explained that the cause of action is that the umbrella body of the entire Tiv race has dragged the Tiv traditional council to court to determine the veracity of the claim that Tiv men give their wives out for pleasure.
He lamented that the matter has raged for long, hence the need to have a permanent solution to it.
Hon also said they have lined up witnesses who are well versed in Tiv tradition and culture, positing that if anyone has anything to the contrary, this is the time for him to come.
“There can’t be collective defamation because we don’t have a cause of action to say that your tribe has been defamed. If we have a determination now, then someday, trace any Tiv man character anywhere, this judgment will be binding on him worldwide and it can be used to sue individuals.
“This is why we are in court, because as a tribe, we have been traumatised. We had expected the Tiv Traditional Council to have taken action since but they deterred and refused to take action, so we are here to enforce our rights as a tribe and nation.
“Our prayer is for the court to make a declaration that no such custom exists in Tiv land and an order of permanent injunction restraining the Tiv Traditional Council from sitting just aloof.
“We are hoping to get judgment and we are praying to get judgment,” he said.
Counsel to the Defendant (Tiv Area Traditional Council), Edward Ashiekaa, SAN, said the allegation that Tiv people give out their wives to strangers is completely false.
He said: “When this allegation came up, there were lots of complaints from well meaning Tiv sons globally and nationally as to what was happening.
“The Tiv traditional Council was about taking a decision as to the way forward to debunk this allegation when suddenly we were served with the writ of summons to come and defend this.
“Our defence is very simple, we are asked to do something about it. The traditional council is ready to take a decision on this so that whatever resolution is taken will stand as notice to all.
“We are not defending the character of the falsehood of this allegation but what we are coming to court to say it that the traditional council is aware of this allegation and is taking every step to ensure that is not repeated at any other time in future.”
During the mention of the matter, Sabatine Hon, SAN, for the plaintiff, acknowledged that the defendant served him with statement of defence which he has perused and will apply for substantive hearing of the matter because of the issue involved and the zeal in the issue.
While the defence counsel E. Ashiekaa, SAN confirmed that the defendants have filed service of defence.
“It is an interesting case, and to the best of my knowledge, this case has never been mentioned, and I join by brother silk to sit down, depending on how many witnesses they will bring.