Did Tomiki teach chokes in the Aikido context - I don't think he did. I can think of only one kata in one of the formal kata series that includes a defence from a choke. You need to learn to apply the choke as uke so I guess you can say they have a place but really chokes are not part of Tomiki's Aikido.
Now that said - I spent a lot of time exploring transitioning into chokes in Himeji. I picked up some chokes in the Judo dojo and was fascinated by them. Also unconventially I practiced going going to ground and continuing randori once there but I think both cases (chokes and ground work) are contrary to the basic idea of Aikido. Once you engage in either your mobility is extremely restricted.
As part of my training and preparations for advancement, knowing chokes is necessary. In the five years I have been learning Tomiki my Sensei has exposed me early on with the basics of choking, building a resistance, and knowing when to tap out and when to release. The other students and I have never "passed out". I am being taught by a man who learned from Tomiki Shihan himself and put all my trust in my Sensei for teaching us the correct way to do it. We always practice safety first.