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Gbenga Obasanjo, Moji in court over children’s custody

By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Tosin Adejuwon
Barely six months after they were separated by an Ikeja High Court, Gbenga Obasanjo, son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his former wife, Mojisola, are yet to settle over who should have the custody of their children.

Specifically, Gbenga had approached the court three weeks back, pleading the court to seek clarifications and declaration of the custody and his access to the children.

Justice Elfreda Dawodu-William had on January 23, 2009 dissolved the marriage after both couples failed to reconcile their differences, ceding the custody of the children to Moji, but granted Gbenga unfettered access to the children.

Gbenga, however, returned to the court three weeks ago seeking clarifications on what he called “gray areas in the judgment.” He sought clarifications on days that the children would stay with him in line with the court’s order, but Moji was claiming that her children would only stay at the weekends with their father with a caveat that they would not live with their grand-mother.

According to Moji, there was probability that Gbenga’s mother would instigate the children against her, if allowed to have their holidays with their grand mum. Also, she alleged that her mother-in-law was threatening to pour acid on her sometimes, a situation, she said would be suicidal for her to allow her children to stay with the woman.

When the matter came up yesterday, both Gbenga and Mojisola were in court for a compulsory conference as ordered by the court for both parties.

Initial attempts to resolve the issue of access to the children of the marriage proved abortive as both parties failed to utilize the opportunity granted them by the court in the Registrar’s office to come to a compromise over the proper manner Gbenga can see his children at regular intervals.

Reporting the failure to reach a compromise by both parties, Gbenga’s counsel, Emmako Addeh told the court that Moji rejected their proposal on the modalities for access to the children by Gbenga.

Addeh told the court that all Gbenga requested was a week’s custody of the children during their short school holidays, two weeks access during long holidays and a full day access on a weekend monthly during normal session in school. He also requested access to visit the children in their school as parent helper.

Moji however refused Gbenga’s proposal saying that she can only allow the children to visit him for one week during their school’s long vacation between the hours of 10 in the morning and six in the evening as well as one Saturday every month between 10a.m and 6p.m with her driver and nanny in attendance. She further argued that she is opposed to the children visiting Gbenga in his mother’s house as they corrupt the children’s mind with false stories about her (Moji) and since Gbenga’s mother had threatened her bodily harm before.

She concluded that having been granted custody by the court, she will only concede to a one day in a month visitation in a neutral place and never in Gbenga’s mother’s house.

Gbenga however insisted that his children need to sleep wherever he lives when they visit him, insisting that the time proposed by Moji is not workable for him and his children.

Not satisfied with the stalemate between both parties, the judge ordered for another conference in her chambers where the issues was tried in private.

The court finally adjourned the case till July 16, 2009.


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