12 April 2013

Nigeria: Couple Disagrees Over Paternity Of Children

Umuahia — An Abia High Court in Uzuakoli on Tuesday rejected the plea of a man, Mr Richard Harrison, for the dissolution of his marriage over the paternity of two sets of twins in his home.

The presiding Judge, Justice Joyce Adiele, rejected the application on the ground that the petitioner had no basis to deny the paternity of the children since they had been part of his household.

She said that the petitioner had earlier told the court that the two sets of twins were his children and that he had great plans for them.

Adiele said that Section 69(c) of the Matrimonial Causes Act provides hat children in a marriage whether by birth or adoption are part of the marriage.

Harrison had pleaded with the court to dissolve his marriage to Mrs Julia Harrison over a disagreement on the paternity of the children.

In the suit number HUZ/2D/2011 brought through his counsel, Mr Stanley Amakwe, Harrison sought the leave of the court to dissolve the marriage on the ground that the marriage contract had broken down.

He said that the two sets of twins were adopted by his wife without his consent and that he would have nothing to do with them.

Harrison told the court that he initially accepted the children in his home out of sympathy, noting that it was time for them to leave with his wife.

Amakwe opposed a motion brought by counsel to the respondent for a paternity test on the grounds that the children were adopted and the adoption was done without the consent of the petitioner.

Counsel to Julia, Mr Nelson Emeruo told the court that the husband was the biological father of the children and stressed that the children were not adopted.

Emeruo applied for an order of the court for a DNA test between Harrison and the children to authenticate the claims of his client.


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