By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—The Benue State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Sekav Iortyom, was, yesterday, arrested and arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court for criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.
Among the charges brought against Mr. Iortyom in court was failure to attend, in obedience to an order from a public servant.
The commissioner was arrested following his alleged involvement in the murder of a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Mkar University Gboko, Dr. Wilfred Tondo, who was murdered in August.
According to the First Information Report, FIR, filed before the court by the prosecuting officer, Gabriel Agadu, the Police ‘B’ Division in Gboko had, in August, received information that about three gunmen broke into the official residence of the lecturer in Gboko and shot him dead.
Part of the FIR read: “During police investigation, Kosovenyi Kungwa, Emmanuel Nyajo and David Yiman were arrested and charged to the Chief Magistrate Court I, Makurdi.
“However, Sekav Iortyom, who was given administrative bail and appointed to report to the police on October 25, but failed, was later arrested for conspiring with the above named and others now at large to commit the crime.”
At the mention of the case, no plea was taken for want of jurisdiction, but the defense counsel, Mr. Christian Teeve, entered an oral plea for the bail of the accused.
However, the prosecuting officer, opposed the plea on the grounds that investigation into the matter was still ongoing.
In her ruling, the presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Felicia Ikyegh, who directed that the bail plea be put down in writing and made formally, ordered that the accused be remanded at the Makurdi Medium Prison and adjourned the matter to February 9, 2017, for further mention.