By Kemi Olatunde
Adekunle Gold (not real names) is a uniformed man who has been taking care of his family despite the fact that he was often absent from home due to the nature of his work. He was however assured of having a stable home as his wife had three children for him.
However, his perfect world came crumbling around him like a pack of cards when he wanted to relocate his family to CANADA, and as part of the relocation process, he carried out a DNA for all members of the family.
The result of the test revealed that none of the three children he has been raising belongs to him. That marked the death of their marriage as he got violent with her. But for the interference of well meaning neighbours, he might have snuffed the living daylights out of her.
This worrisome trend is growing among Nigerian married women especially the elite. They got impregnated by their lovers and passed it on to their husbands and the unfortunate men are deceived into fathering children that were not there’s.
This indication came following a United States Embassy report on their Nigerian green card ( immigrant visa) DNA scrutiny and the results showed that over 60% of the couples sent for DNA for proof of parentage for their children came back NEGATIVE for the man but POSITIVE for the woman. So those results eliminated the women’s most common excuse , “they switched the baby at the hospital.”
The results simply hints that over 60% of Nigerian women might be unfaithful while married, and bring home children from their illicit lovers for another to raise as his own in other to cover their tracks.
A lot of factors are believed to be responsible for this act including male infertility, financial gain, social status or concealing infidelity. With the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) paternity tests, secrets of unfaithful wives are being revealed thus causing unbalance and chaos in a family of those that were hitherto happily married.
Anthropologists are of the opinion that the figure of unfaithful wives may be higher for the wider Nigerian population because the sample size of the US Immigrant visa applications are coming from mostly upper Middle Class folks. The real mess may be a bit lower at the middle class level and at the lower class levels.
With this development, it is important to note that due to promiscuity, three children can belong to a different man after a woman may have been married for many years to a different man. Not just one, so that we’ll even think maybe it was a swap mistake at the hospital during birth but a whole three, imagine!
Now that DNA test is handy, there will surely be revelations of secrets. The only reason why some marriages are still intact is that the price of conducting a DNA test is still high, should it become cheaper, many housewives will be exposed. With this in place, Nigerian women who are bent on engaging in infidelity must shelve it now.
According to findings, Nigeria has the second highest rate of paternity fraud in the world after Jamaica.
Many men have been unknowingly raising children that are not theirs and to curb the trend, there have been calls for introduction of mandatory DNA testing at birth
According to a newspaper report, a leading DNA testing centre based in Lagos, Nigeria, released its findings on reasons people seek to test, the demographics of those tested, and the outcomes of the tests.
The result of tests conducted on thousands of users at its facility between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023 showed that Lagos accounted for the highest percentage of tests, with 82.89 per cent of the total, followed by Oyo (3.29 per cent), Ogun (3.07 per cent), FCT (2.63 per cent), and Rivers (2.41 per cent).
This heavy concentration in Lagos, particularly, the Mainland (68.14 per cent) compared to the Island (31.86 per cent) owes likely to the location of Smart DNA offices around the purchasing power of the states residents, and the high population density of the state, the report revealed.
On the test type, the report disclosed that the majority of tests (89.10 per cent) were conducted for Peace of Mind, followed by Immigration (8.97 per cent), and Legal (0.64 per cent). This suggests that individuals primarily seek DNA testing to confirm biological relationships for personal reasons rather than legal or immigration purposes, the report averred.
Another 2016 report stated that approximately 30 per cent of men who took DNA tests in Nigeria to determine paternity discovered they were not the biological fathers of their children. This shocking statistic highlights the widespread nature of this problem.
Furthermore, a study conducted by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) found that 27 per cent of paternity tests conducted in Lagos State revealed cases of misattributed paternity. These findings indicate a distressing pattern of deceit affecting countless Nigerian.
Speaking on how DNA revealed his ex-wife’s infidelity, a High Court Judge in Delta State, Justice Ezonfade Okorodas, while addressing the press sometime in 2021 explained that during the coronavirus lockdowns (in 2020) he received information from an anonymous source that indicated that the last of the three children from his previous marriage was in fact not his biological child.
According to him; “Due to the COVID-19 restrictions at the time, I had to wait until August 2020 to carry out a DNA test. The result which came out in September 2020 confirmed that I was not the biological father of the child.
“Consequently, I convened a joint meeting between my extended family on the one side, and Celia’s paternal and maternal families (i.e., the Ototo Family of Ovom Town and the Agbagidi Family of Yenagoa Town) on the other side, where I confronted her with the paternity fraud allegation. Although she initially strongly insisted that I was the biological father, she has since confessed to having the child with another man during the course of our marriage.
“This repulsive act of my ex-wife prompted me to conduct DNA tests in respect of the two other children. A few days ago, the results came out. Sadly, none of them is my biological child.
“This abomination has caused excruciating mental trauma to me, my present wife, Barrister (Mrs) Ebi Okorodas and all of the innocent children involved. This is particularly so for Ebi, who has had to agree to having DNA tests on the four children of our own marriage. Thankfully, the test results confirm each of them to be my biological child.
“It is important to state that Celia walked away from the marriage when her youngest child (who is now 17 years of age) was just 6 years old. Since then, all of her children have lived with my wife, Ebi and I, and we have been wholly responsible for their wellbeing and education. Friends who are close to my family would readily attest to the fact that unless specifically informed, no one could tell that the children were not the biological children of my present wife.
Recently, a well-known radio comedian, Nedu had a fair share of this following an allegation of domestic violence made against him by his former wife, Uzoamaka Ohiri.
Ms. Ohiri accused Nedu of physically abusing her shortly after she gave birth to their child through a Cesarean section. Nedu responded to these allegations with a startling revelation, stating, “our marriage was plagued with a lot of issues. One of which was continuous infidelity from her side that led to me conducting a paternity test on our kids, which led to the revelation that our first son is not my biological son…”
In a response to Nedu’s claim, Ms. Ohiri expressed her surprise, asserting that she was not aware of the paternity issue until a DNA test was conducted.
She shed light on the origins of this DNA scandal during an interview, saying, “I was seeing someone before Nedu; he was pursuing me persistently. I declined his advances after our relationship ended, and that’s when Nedu and I got together.
“Along the line, I discovered I was pregnant. Trust me, if I knew that my first child was not his, I wouldn’t have married him. I couldn’t intentionally pass another man’s child as his own. If I had known, I wouldn’t have walked down the aisle with him. On my wedding day, I was pregnant, and everyone saw it.”
Furthermore, Ms. Ohiri, a mother of three, maintained that she had been faithful during her marriage and questioned Nedu’s claim to her son’s custody.
Recently, there has been controversy surrounding the baby of the late singer, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba popularlly called “Mohbad” as his father
Joseph Aloba, insists on conducting paternity test on his grandson.
Sharing his thoughts on conducting a DNA test on his grandson during an interview with BBC Pidgin, Mohbad’s father said the right course of action should be taken at the right moment concerning the DNA test.
In his own words, “This thing has come to majority now, not only Nigeria. So they should do the proper thing at the proper time.”
The issue of the paternity of MohBad’s five-month-old son has become a topic of discussion since the singer’s demise with some social media users demanding that the late rapper’s wife submit her son for a DNA test to clear herself from those doubting her loyalty to Mohbad.
According to a Nigerian professor of virology, educational administrator, and former Vice Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Osun State, Oyewale Tomori, it is only in a decadent society that DNA tests at birth will become mandatory. In a normal society with Godly and moral standards, he said, paternity issues should not be a normal thing.
He said: “Infidelity and greed are the ingredients of the situation that will make DNA paternity testing a regular or normal thing.” In a similar vein, the National President, National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, said despite the advancement in medicine and science generally, the issue of paternity should always be a personal matter, especially as it involves the fundamental human right of choice. The privacy act all over the globe, he added, prohibits any form of unauthorized intrusion into anyone’s personal space, activities and dealings, except when it becomes detrimental to others.“
“That said it should be clear that laws are made for humanity, and not humanity for laws, thus the issue of choice is extremely important. In this way, no form of objectivity can be arrived at from a compulsory/ mandatory DNA test at birth since it remains at variance to the objective right of choice and self-determination. Protocols of limitations need to be established here, just like that seen in human genome alterations,” he said.
Dr. Doyin Odubanjo, Executive Secretary at The Nigerian Academy of Science and Past Chair, Association of Public Health Physicians of Nigeria, also said that such matters are complex moral issues that are difficult to legislate. “Marriage should be based on a foundation of love/trust. Otherwise, we might need to make prenuptial agreements mandatory too,” he added.
A Family physician and primary care paediatrician, Dr. Rotimi Adesanya, has equally said that a mandatory DNA test at birth is not ethical.
Speaking with The Hope, a medical practitioner, Clement Olaleye said that DNA issues are treated with utmost confidentiality due to its sensitivity.
A staff of a private diagnostic center in Akure, he revealed that DNA has been useful in revealing infidelity in marriages stating that so marriages sit on a time bomb.
According to him, it has revealed the truth about paternity of children especially in cases where there has not been trust.
Speaking extensively, the middle aged man said; “Some years ago, a man of high caliber walked into our establishment to have it conducted for his four children only to find out that none of the children belong to him. He was chattered and promised to deal with his wife.
“I observed that the man had cockroach in his cupboard due to his reaction and after inquiring from him, he said that he knew quite alright at the initial stage of his marriage to his wife that he couldn’t father a child but actually trusted that a miracle could occur at a point in his life due to his belief in God.
“He said that when his wife started giving birth, he thought that Heavens had smiled on him before the last born began to have a reoccurring ailment which prompted him to ask for the test.”