A Delta State High Court judge, Justice Anthony Ezonfade Okorodas has disclosed how he discovered through a DNA test that his first three children, born to him by his first wife, Barrister Celia Juliet Otobo, were not his biological children .
Justice Okorodas and Mrs Otobo were married for nine years and had the three children, the last of who is now 17 years old. Due to differences, they divorced and went their separate ways 11 years ago.
The high court judge though remarried, kept custody of his supposed children, took care of them to the extent that two of them are already undergraduates in the university. His new wife also bore four children.
Justice Okorodas received the greatest shock of his life in 2020 when someone secretly informed him that he was not the biological father of his 17-year-old last born who was six years old when his mother left. A DNA test confirmed that the information was true.
According to him, his ex-wife later confirmed the story after the family waded into the paternity issue. This led him to conduct DNA tests on his other children, including the four his present wife gave birth to. The result of the tests confirmed his worst nightmare. The other two born by his former wife were not his as well. However, all the four born by his present wife passed the DNA test.
Justice Okorodas, mindful of his present position called a press conference to clear the air on the issue.
Below is his press statement:
Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, I thank you for attending this Press Conference.
I have taken the decision to address the Press in respect of certain traumatic developments that have arisen between me and my ex-wife, Barrister Celia Juliet Ototo of the Ototo Family of Ovom in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. It is now nearly 11 years since our separation and divorce. This Press Statement is important in order to prevent damaging speculations, half- truths and outright lies from persons who may want to cash in on the tragedy that has befallen my home.
Sometime during the coronavirus lockdowns early last year, I received information from an anonymous source that indicated that the last of the three children from my previous marriage was in fact not my biological child. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions at the time, I had to wait until August 2020 to carry out a DNA test. The DNA test 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.
Ebi and I would continue to support the children in any way that we can. Indeed, even after the release of the first DNA test result which proved that I was not the biological father of the last child, we have continued to pay for his education in a private boarding school. The two other children are university undergraduates. The first, a female, will be a graduate later this year, and the second will soon enter his 4th year of study. We pray for them to overcome the trauma and become responsible citizens of our country.
For Celia and her boyfriend or boyfriends, we leave them to their conscience. Thank you very much.
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BREAKING: Fire Guts Supreme Court
A section of the Supreme Court complex in Abuja, was gutted by fire on Monday morning.
It was learnt that the fire, which started around 7am, caused panic among staff members of the court who scampered to safety.
Though no human casualty was recorded, however, it was not clear whether sensitive documents and files were destroyed by the early morning fire at the court situated at the Three-Arm-Zone, Abuja.
It was learnt that the fire might have been caused by electrical malfunction in one of the offices within the administrative wing of the court.
The source confirmed that three offices, including that of Justice Mohammed Saulawa, was touched by the fire before it was eventually put off.
Abiodun Pays Tribute To Alaperu’s Late Wife, Harps On Enduring Legacies
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun has extolled the exemplary virtues of the late wife of the Alaperu of Iperu, Olori Kehinde Idowu Basibo-Odoru, describing her as a strong pillar for her husband and a unifying factor for the entire royal family while alive.
The late queen was born on April 23, 1962, and passed on at the age of 61 on 27th July 2023. Her funeral and thanksgiving service was held on Friday at the St. James Anglican Church, Iperu.
The governor, in his remarks, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the royal father, Alaiyeluwa, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, and the people of the town over the loss, as he prayed for necessary fortitude to carry on in her absence.
He recounted the enviable attributes of the late Olori while alive as bold, lovely and supportive; with passion to help those around her, adding that she would be sorely missed by her immediate family, the entire town of Iperu and Ogun State in general.
“On behalf of the government and the good people of Ogun State, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to my brother, the Alaperu of Iperu, Oba Adeleke Idowu-Basibo, on the passing of his adorable wife.
“The late Olori was a friend and reliable companion to her husband till death. She was also a doting mother to her children. We are going to sorely miss her; may the good Lord repose her soul,” Abiodun said.
The governor counselled the congregation on the need to be fair to all in all ways while alive, to leave worthy legacies after death as exemplified by the late Queen.
He continued: “Life is a journey; we all have our exit points. We have no power over that, it is inevitable. What is important is what we do while we are here, what type of tribute would be written about you when you are no more.”
BREAKING: Govt Increases Salaries Of University Lecturers, Others
In a bid to improve the lot of tertiary education, the Federal Government has increased the salaries of the lecturers and non-academic staff in the nation’s public universities.
The increase was approved by the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
This includes payment of a newly approved percentage increment in salaries for academic and non-academic staff of all Federal Government’s tertiary institutions in the country.
This is as the percentage increment for junior staff of tertiary institutions was raised from 23.5% which was reviewed last year to 25%. Our correspondent gathered that the arrears of the increment from January 2023 will also be paid.
Though nothing was said about the withheld salaries of the academics and non-academics who embarked on strike in 2022, it was learnt that the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, earlier wrote the Chairman of the NSIWC, Ekpo Nta, to demand the status of the collective.
According to sources within the Ministry of Education, the decision of the minister to write the NSIWC might not be unconnected from visitations by some of the academic unions and intervention by some pressure groups.
When asked if polytechnic lecturers were aware of the new development, the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, said that the union heard of the news and were looking forward to the implementation.
“Definitely, we heard of it and we are looking forward to it. There will be 25% increment for junior lecturers while chief lecturers and professors will benefit from 35% increment,” he said.
The National Vice-President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Chris Piwuna, disclosed that such a letter would be addressed to the management of universities and not ASUU.
A letter by the Chief Executive Officer/Chairman of the NSIWC, Eyo Nta, which was addressed to the Minister of Education on September 14,2023 shortly before his departure to the United Nations General Assembly in New York
tagged ‘RE: Implementation of the 35% and 23.5% salary increment for staff of tertiary institutions,’ reads: “I refer to your letter No. FME/IS/UNI/ASUU/C.I/IT?/90 dated 8th September 2023 in respect of the above-subject. Find attached the circulars pertaining to the four salary structures in the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education for your information (attached).
“The 23.5% earlier reflected in our letter SWC/S/04/S.149/I/59 of 28 July 2022 and stated in paragraph 2 of your letter, has been increased to 25% which accounted for the increased cost implications. This Commission is really pleased with the success your informal discussions have achieved. We shall endeavour to support all your efforts aimed at repositioning the Education Sector. Please accept the assurances of my warm regards.”
Consequently, the commission proceeded to issue a circular also dated September 14, 2023 and addressed to the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation among others informing them of the implementation of the newly reviewed salaries.
The circular reads: “ The Presidential Committee on Salaries at its 13th meeting having taken into consideration the various stages of collective bargaining in various sectors, and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions, and consequent upon the Federal Government’s approval, as well as 2023 budgetary provisions, approval is hereby conveyed for the revision of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for academic staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January 2023.”
Also, a letter from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation dated September 21, 2023 which was made available to our correspondent on Friday in Abuja confirmed the increment.
The letter which was signed on behalf of the Director, Human Resource of the office, Ajanaku F.O reads, “I am directed to inform you that the Presidential Committee on Salaries at it’s 13th meeting having taken into consideration the different stages of collective bargaining in various sectors and specifically engagements between the Federal Ministry of Education and Tertiary Institutions-based Unions and consequently the Federal Government’s approval, is hereby conveyed as revised for the following:-
“Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Salary Structure for Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure II for non-Academic Staff of Federal Universities, with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure for non – Academic Staff of Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, with effect from 1st January, 2023.
“Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure II (CONUASS II) for Academic Staff of Federal University with effect from 1st January, 2023.”
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