A Tinubu Chief Magistrate’s Court in Lagos has ordered the arrest of Eniola, the son of Globacom Chairman, Mike Adenuga.
Chief Magistrate T.A. Elias, in a ruling on Thursday, August 16, 2018, said the 28-year-old was in contempt of court for refusing to give the custody of his child, Anthena, to her mother, Damilola.
Mr Elias said Eniola should be arrested until he gives “full custody of the subject (Anthena) to the respondent (Damilola).”
Eniola and Damilola dated during which the 25-year-old became pregnant and had the child.
Disagreement allegedly broke out between the duo and their families, resulting in a legal battle for the custody of the child.
In September 2017, a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court gave an interim order which awarded the custody of the child to the mother.
While Eniola was given unrestricted access to the child, he was, however, asked to pick her every Friday and return her to the mother on Sunday.
The arrangement was said to have been running smoothly until May 18, 2018, when the father, in company with two policemen, allegedly took Athena from school and failed to return her to the mother.
The Falana & Falana Chambers had written a petition to the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, accusing Eniola of abduction.
Funmi Falana, on behalf of her client, filed an ex parte application on May 25, 2018, seeking the release of the child to the mother.
She said Damilola had been traumatised by the incident, adding that she was afraid for the child’s safety.
The application was granted by a magistrate, Mrs M.R. Osho-Adebiyi, who ordered Eniola to produce the child.
He was further ordered to appear before the court to explain why he should not be charged for contempt of court.
However, Eniola’s lawyer, Victor Amalu, filed a motion on notice on August 7, 2018, praying for a stay of execution of the order.
Amalu also asked that the contempt of court application be set aside.
He said it was not right for orders to be given when Eniola was not represented to defend himself.
Eniola’s application was, however, countered by Mrs Falana, who said Eniola was taking the court for granted.
The chief magistrate, Elias, overruled Amalu’s objections, describing the “modus operandi” used by Eniola as “appalling.”
Citing Section 64 of the Lagos State Child Right Law, 2007, the magistrate gave full custody of the child to the mother till she was 18 years old.
He also gave Eniola “supervised” access to the child, adding that he could only see her every fortnight.
Elias advised the parents to take the child’s welfare seriously and put her development and progress first.
“The continuous refusal of the applicant to produce the subject in court amounts to contempt; bench warrant is accordingly ordered for any police officers to effect his arrest until he purges himself of contempt and gives full custody of the subject to the respondent,” he added.
- Adapted from PUNCH