By Amos Aar
THE lady, Ms Nguwasen Iorfa, who was recently beaten to coma in Makurdi, Benue State capital, by her 59-year-old stepbrother, Kelvin Iorfa, has instructed members of the public not to interfere and intervene in the matter anymore because it is a family affair.
About two weeks ago, a viral video clip showed how Ms Nguwasen was brutalised by Kelvin who was later arrested by the police and taken to a Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court which remanded him at the Federal Correctional Service Centre, Makurdi.
National Record’s efforts to post the video was turned down by YouTube which said it was too violent and graphic, situations it said violates its ethic.
But Nguwasen in a video released on Monday April 24, 2023 said people should mind their business, explaining that Kelvin is her elder brother who has now assumed the position of their late father and he only corrected her for a wrong thing that she did.
Nguwasen, who spoke in Tiv language throughout the video, said: “I, Nguwasen Iorfa Agba, have come on air here to inform the public that I have come to my brother, Mr Kelvin Iorfa Agba. I did something wrong, that is why he disciplined me.
“I have not asked anybody to get involved in the matter because it is a family affair. We will go home and sit as a family.
“The appointment he is to get, God in heaven is the one who crowns kings. So, that appointment should be given in Jesus name. He will be doing that job and be taking care of me. So, I say no politician or his enemy should use the opportunity to fight against him.
“Now that our father is no more alive, Kelvin has become our father in the family. So, I will not say outsiders should interfere in our family affair, we will go and settle at home where nobody will know. So, everybody should remove their hands from our family matter because everybody has problems in their families. Therefore, I am saying my brother should be released in Jesus name,” Nguwasen said.
In the last paragraph of the above quotation, Nguwasen called for the release of her stepbrother, Kelvin which means that the video was produced before the perpetrator was released from the Correctional Service Centre, Makurdi.
A former governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State, Prof. Terhemba Shija, had announced on April 20, 2023 that Nguwasen paid a “sisterly visit” to Kelvin. But Shija did not disclose when and where the visit took place.
The politician also pre-empted Iorfa’s family by submitting that “family is supreme.”
National Record gathered that Shija was instrumental to the release of Kelvin from jail as he was said to have driven him home out of prison.
It was still not clear as at press time if the investigating police officer (IPO) and the civil society organisations (CSOs), particularly the Benue State chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) were privy to the release of Kelvin under very shady circumstances.
A lawyer who pleaded anonymity told National Record that as a criminal offence, the family or anyone has the right quash the matter under the guise of ‘family affair.’
“In law, crime is within the jurisdiction of the State; such that when the commitment of a crime comes to the notice of the State, no one, including the family of a suspect has the legal cover to shield him or her from prosecution. It is the duty of the State through the police to do the needful,” the lawyer said.
An undated press release accessed on the Facebook timeline of Engr John Iyorfa, the immediate elder brother to Nguwasen Iorfa, confirmed the so-called family resolution of the alleged criminal violence by Kelvin.
The name ‘Iyorfa’ is also spelt ‘Iorfa’ depending on the writer’s choice of spelling and pronunciation as well as which part of Tivland he hails from.
In the press release, John Iyorfa Agba informed the public that Mr Kelvin Iorfa who is the eldest sibling in their family has shown remorse. He, on behalf of the family called on security agencies, non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations and the general public to forgive Kelvin.
The statement entitled: “Press Release in Connection with Near Fatal Assault on Nguwasen Iyorfa by Kelvin Iyorfa”, signed by John Iyorfa, reads:
“An ugly incident occurred on the 6th April, 2023 when Kelvin Iorfa attacked/assaulted his sister, Nguwasen Iyorfa.
“Every human heart that witnessed and/or came across the assault on social media was touched and it triggered so many reactions and condemnations. Family members, individuals, NGOs, Civil society organizations, Government agencies and the public did not hesitate to vent their reservations and condemnation over the unwarranted near death assault by Kelvin Iyorfa on Nguwasen Iyorfa. Some even called for his prosecution.
“I John Iyorfa Agba therefore state here that:
“a) The perpetrator and the victim are both my consanguine relations; while Kelvin (the perpetrator) is a half-brother cum eldest in the family, Nguwasen (the victim) is my immediate younger sister.
“b) That the entire Iyorfa Agba family abhors and condemns with vehemence this unwarranted near death assault on Nguwasen by her elder brother Kelvin.
“However, considering the remorse expressed by Kelvin Iyorfa and coupled with the fact that he had never ever behaved as such outside or within the family confines, the Iyorfa Agba family concludes that human beings are fallible and he isn’t an exception and therefore mandated me to on behalf of the family apologize on behalf of Kelvin Iorfa for the gruesome, obnoxious, lugubrious and unwarranted near fatal assault perpetrated on Miss Nguwasen Iyorfa. He is indeed remorseful and has regretted his outburst/action and is full of shame.
“Nguwasen and Kelvin have resolved their differences but your forgiveness out there is of outmost importance.
“It’s worthy to note that Miss Nguwasen Iyorfa is receiving treatment bankrolled by myself and she is physically, mentally and emotionally stable. Therefore, disregard any information on social media by some unscrupulous individuals requesting for financial assistance from the public purportedly to foot her medical bills. She is NOT under anybody’s medical care, please.
“Finally, I also want to use this opportunity to appreciate all family members, friends, NGOs, civil society Organizations, government agencies and the public who stood by Nguwasen Iorfa by taking various remedial actions to forestall such occurrence in the future”.
Public reacts to victim’s video
Meanwhile, the video produced by Nguwasen has generated different reactions from the public. While some people agree on the supremacy of the family as Prof. Terhemba Shija had earlier asserted, others insisted that there are laws of the land that stipulate the punishment of human right violators and such laws bind on the family.
Others are of the opinion that the victim produced the video under duress.
Some commenters on the issue on Facebook, like Kajo Martins, queries: “Did she drag the brother to the police or court? Law enforcement agents arrested the suspect who is allegedly in breach of public order. Therefore, the issue of sister disclaimer does not apply in the case. Kelvin is the prime suspect, the video is a star evidence, Kelvin’s confessional statement has capped it all as evidence in Chief”.
Ephraim Gbaka writes: “There is nothing like family affairs here or rather let her and her family members be a country of their own without the law and practice family affairs. Rubbish video”.
On the other hand, Josephine Nyiekula asserts: “The law might take its course but it will deepen family crisis which the law cannot solve. Where is the place of the law in the matters to Tyoh. My sister, you are wise”.
Sonia Iwueseter argues: “They have gaslighted this one all in the name of his brother’s anticipated appointment. Imagine somebody that fainted, if you had died would the issue be about appointment or your life? Well, the issue is beyond the public, it’s now in the hands of the law. So, go and tell that to the Judge because last last, you sef we go find you come arrest you since you choose to be an enabler… Mtcheeeew
“If Alia has even the slightest regard for integrity, he should not bring that man anywhere near his appointees”.
But Kate Sese opines: “Obviously not okay and been compelled to say this”.
Kelvin Iyorfa hails from Vandeikya LGA of Benue State where the governor-elect, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, also comes from. Kelvin is also said to be a strong member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and he stands a good chance to get appointment from the incoming administration of his brother, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia.
However, some people observe that the brutality Kelvin perpetrated on his sister that has stained his name may jeopardise his chances of securing an appointment he is anticipating hence Nguwasen might have been compelled to vindicate him publicly so that he will not lose the opportunity.