WARRI-A Warri based businessman, Chief Tunde Smooth (petitioner/defendant) has dragged his wife, Chief Vero Smooth (respondent) to the Warri South-West Area Customary Court at Ogbe-Ijoh, Delta State over the controversial twin babies the later claimed to have been delivered for him, seeking an order for the committal to prison of the respondent for disobeying the order of the court.
The order for committal to prison of Chief Vero Smooth was sequel to her failure to obey the Warri South-West Area Customary Court ruling following a motion on notice filled by the counsel to the petitioner/applicant, Chief M.O. Akoubodo in Suit NO. WSWACC/1/2010.
Chief Smooth through his counsel had in an amended petition for the customary law marriage, claimed for the dissolution of the customary law marriage the petitioner contracted with the respondent sometime in the year 1984 at Okerenkoko in Warri South-West Area of Delta State . A declaration that the petitioner is not the biological father of the twin babies given birth to by the respondent sometime in the month of January, 2010
He is also claiming for a refund of the Bride Price paid by the petitioner to the respondent and her family in compliance with Izon Native Law and Custom, an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondent from claiming that the petitioner is the biological father of the twin babies given birth to by the respondent sometime in the month of January, 2010, as well as an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondent from bearing the name of the petitioner as her husband.
The Warri South-West Area Customary Court presided over by the President, H.K. Atiene Esq., in his ruling on March 18, 2010, had ordered amongst others that the parties i.e. the petitioner/applicant, the respondent in the suit and the twin babies given birth to by the respondent sometime in January 2010 should undergo a Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) Test at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) before the date of next adjournment March 29, 2010.
In a resumed hearing last Friday to determine a motion on notice brought by the petitionerâ€™s solicitor, Chief M.O. Akoubodo of Akoubodo M.O. & Associates, in pursuant to section 63 of Sheriffs and Civil process law, CAP 151; order 8, rule 13 of judgments enforcement rules cap 151, laws of defunct Bendel State, applicable in Delta State; section40 & 68 (A) of Customary Courts edict 1997 and order XIII, rules 1&2 of the customary court rules 2007 and under the inherent jurisdiction of this court, the respondent who has decided to stay away from the court was not present.
However, the order for committal to prison of the respondent Chief Vero Smooth for having neglected, failed and/or refused to obey the order of the court made on the 18th day of march 2010, requiring her to do the order contained in the ruling, the President of the Warri South-West area Customary, H.K. Atiene has asked the Counsel to the respondent, O.R. Egor Esq. to ensure that his client appears in court on the adjourned date of May 13, 2010.
Speaking in an interview with Chief Tunde Smooth, he said that the pregnancy and the alleged delivery by his wife still remains a misery to him, adding that he will not accept the twin babies except proved other wise by the DNA Test.
Chief Smooth said he has decided to go to court because of the circumstances surrounding his wifeâ€™s claim of the twin babies as there was no sign of such before the sudden arrival of his wife from Port Harcourt where she claimed to have delivered the baby. He added that he would ensure that the misery surrounding the delivery of the babies is revealed.
â€œI donâ€™t have any problems with the babies if it is proved that the babies belong to me. But the problem here is that I donâ€™t want to claim babies that do not belong to me. As you are aware weâ€™ve heard stories where people go out to buy babies claiming that the baby belong to them. I donâ€™t want to be a party to that. I want the DNA test to be carried out on me, my wife and the twin babies to ascertain if they belong to me or not,â€ Chief Smooth posited.