By Innocent Anaba
Dr. Abimbola Akintola, daughter of the late Premier of Western Region, Chief Samuel Akintola, has told an Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, that her late father had no child outside of wedlock.
It will be recalled that a judge of the High Court of Oyo State, Ibadan Division, Justice Ladiran Akintola, had in 2013, approached the court seeking to be declared a biological son of the late Premier, who was one of the founding fathers of modern Nigeria.
The suit, filed at the state High Court, was previously pending before Justice S. A. Akinteye for pre-trial conference before it was assigned to Justice Eni Esan.
Counsel to the Samuel Akintola family, Olaseni Oyefeso, at the pre-trial conference, had challenged the locus standi of Justice Ladiran Akintola (claimant) on the grounds that he could not have validly sued as ‘beneficiary’ in the estate of the late Chief S. L. Akintola, arguing that it was the subject matter submitted to the court for determination.
In his ruling, Justice Akinteye dismissed the application and, consequently, an appeal was lodged at the Court of Appeal against the decision.
The matter is presently before Justice Aderonke Aderemi.
But the trial court insisted on hearing the matter, as an appeal does not operate as a stay of proceeding.
Abimbola, one of the main witnesses in the case, described the claim by the judge as untrue. She averred that the late Premier had told his nuclear family that he had no child out of wedlock.
She disclosed that sometime in 1972, a strange woman came to her, uninvited, with a child, saying the child was her father’s son. She asked the woman why she waited that long before coming up with her claim.
She then requested that the woman furnish her with the child’s birth certificate and other necessary documents.
She said the woman promised to provide the required documents only to return two weeks after with a photocopy of a parody of a birth registration.
Abimbola stated that although they both had an encounter twice at separate periods, all she could remember was that the strange woman, claiming to be another wife of his father, had tribal marks.
An affidavit’s date
According to her, “we were never told about the son by my late father. My father kept diaries and he showed it to us his children, but when he was assassinated in 1966 coup, we could not find it.
“The fact is that they (the woman and her son) came together uninvited and unknown to me in 1972. She begged me to accept the child and that he belongs to my father.
“I was afraid that the strange woman might attack me until she said ‘just take this child’. But I refused to listen to her because my father I know married legally according to marriage ordinance.
“I equally told her that my father told us that he did not have any child outside of wedlock and I spoke to her woman-to-woman and advised her to take her child and go away.
“I also asked her how she could wait after 13 years to lay such a claim and when she pressed further, I asked her to get a proof to show that the child truly belongs to my father and she later came back with an affidavit dated 1968, while my father died in 1966.
“So, my father did not commit bigamy and if he had done it, it would have been published because he was a prominent politician.”
When asked by the claimant’s counsel, Abiodun Abdulrahim, if she knew anything about how the family estate was being run, Dr. Abimbola responded: “I joined the administration of the my father’s estate when my mother passed on August 4, 2002 and my elder brother, Ambassador Abayomi Akintola, was away then. So I had to wait for him to come back.”