The Story Professor Adeniran never wanted anyone to read!


Raging paternity battle over the three sons of Prof. Tunde Adeniran now appears to have degenerated into jungle war, as the claimant father of Adeniran's children, Dr M.O Oluwamokumi, has reportedly gone into hiding.

Adeniran was rejected by the United States Government as Nigeria's ambassador to that country as consequence of the arrest of his son, 19-year-old Adedamola, over allegation that he was involved in gang-raping three women in Baltimore, Maryland.

Oluwamukomi, a lecturer in the department of Food Science and Technology of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State, is currently contesting that he, and not Adeniran, is the true biological father of Adedamola and two of his brothers.

But Adeniran's loyalists have also put up a fight, saying their principal is the true father of the children having consented to a DNA test, which proclaimed him as the children's dad. The envoy's camp only came short of saying Oluwamukomi is impotent.

But at the centre of the epic contest is the mother of the disputed children, Bukky, nee Olajubu, a princess from Ikogosi, a tourist community in Ekiti State. She was the wife of Oluwamukomi between 1985 and 2005 before an Ado-Ekiti High Court dissolved the marriage. She gave birth to the three children while still being married to Oluwamukomi, clearly indicating that she and Adeniran were extra-marital lovers for upwards of 20 years.

After the marriage dissolution, however, Bukky went with Adeniran as the ambassador's new heartthrob, thus posing a formidable threat to Adeniran's legal wife of 35 years.

National LIFE gathered last week that Oluwamukomi, in stirring the hornet's nest by engaging Adeniran-a former minister of education-in the dirty fight to reclaim “his children,” has incurred the wrath of certain persons believed to be sympathizers of the rejected envoy.

Already, the varsity lecturer has decamped from his Akure residence over what community sources described as perceived threat to his life. Oluwamukomi, a native of Isan in Oye Local Government of Ekiti State resides in Akure, the university community where he lectures but has since fled his residence after “some strange movements in his backyards, at ungodly hours, on three occasions.”

A close family source to the lecturer in Isan, preferring anonymity, said, “for now, he does not want his location known for fear of being trailed; and he is considering some actions within the legal framework to retrieve his children from Ambassador Adeniran.”

In the community also, some farmers and hunters returning home were seen discussing the Oluwamukomi/Adeniran imbroglio in a debate form.

However, authorities of the FUTA have declined comments on the paternity row between the lecturer and the ambassador, saying, “it may be a private issue of which the university is not involved.”

In a chat with our correspondent, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University, Mr. Omololu Adegbenro, said it was difficult for the institution to be concerned with the location of the lecturer as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was on strike.

“While I do not know his whereabouts, I think Dr. Oluwamukomi is in the country,” Adegbenro said. The lecturer's known MTN number has been switched off in the last one week, lending credence to hints that he had decided to lie low, “to save his head.”

Sources in Ikogosi, the hometown of Bukky, the princess, said she was away to the US, where her son, Adedamola, is still battling the rape case.

Meanwhile, the rejection of Adeniran as Nigeria's ambassador to the US has continued to generate debate, especially as to the saying that “in criminal law, there is no vicarious liability.”

Championing Adeniran's cause, a socio-political group tagged Ekiti Justice Group stated during the week that, "like every indigene of Ekiti State, we were shocked by the news of the rejection of…Adeniran as the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America (USA) by the Government of USA.

The group, in the statement by its national president, Dr. Tunji Oluwasanmi, further noted: "After a careful deliberation on the reason adduced in the media for the rejection, we wish to state that the position taken by the USA government was unacceptable and should be rejected by all right-thinking Nigerians and the world generally.

"We know Prof. Adeniran as an outstanding and very cerebral academic. He is also an established and well-acclaimed administrator. He is no doubt able, capable and suited to be the Nigerian ambassador anywhere in the world, particularly the USA. "Therefore, rejecting such a person because of an offence allegedly committed by his son is not only laughable but lacks logic because in the world over, no one visits the offence of offence a father on the son and vice versa.

“In criminal law, there is no vicarious liability. This is universally accepted cannon of law. It is not restricted to Nigeria," the Ekiti Justice Group stridently argued.

But rising to puncture the group's line of argument, a legal luminary and former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) said although there is no vicarious responsibility under criminal law, it is still within the right of a government to give recourse to some latitudes.

Olanipekun said: “There is no vicarious liability in criminal law. In other words, whatever offence a father commits cannot be visited on the son and vice versa. It is a universally accepted cannon of law. It is not restricted to Nigeria. It is also applicable in the United States of America. That is the law.

But when it comes to international diplomacy, the American government or the home country has a lot of latitudes to look into the pedigree, the background, the person, even the family of the person who is being donated to them as an ambassador. It is within their latitude.

He also told those bemoaning the fate of Adeniran to consider the norms in America.

“America is a country that places so much value on morals. America is a country where nobody can just wake up and assert himself or present himself as a legislator, a governor or as a president. This is also the case in Great Britain,” the senior advocate reminded.

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