Nigerian men are fast becoming not only cuckold husbands but endangered species as a result of growing trend of paternity fraud. In recent times, reports of negative paternity results of children purportedly fathered by married men have been on the increased.
More and more DNA tests reveal that most men are not actually the father of some or all of their children, a trend “Dr. Jimmy Nwachukwu of Glory Hospital, says “causes severe depression, and if not properly manage, can lead to suicidal thoughts.”
In the past two weeks, the media have been awash with the pathetic case of a certain Osun State man, who has become a sad poster boy for this unwholesome trend of paternity fraud that men suffer in the hands of their unfaithful wives, who cheat on them by stealth.
Nearly 17 years after getting married, Kolawole Olanrewaju from Ikire in Osun State, has found out that to his chagrin that all the four children he thought he had with his wife, Toyin Olanrewaju, belong to another man.
According to him, a DNA test conducted on the four children aged 16, 12, 8 and 5 at DDC DNA Diagnostic Centre in Ibadan, Oyo State turned out negative, meaning he is not their biological father.
Kolawole, who made the revelation during a programme aired in Yoruba two Saturdays ago on Agidigbo FM in Ibadan, Oyo State, said he had been having a running battle with Toyin, whom he accused of engaging in extramarital affairs.
He said, “I am seeking help from Nigerians. I want justice. I married her (Toyin) in 2007 and she gave birth to four children. I later found out that none of the four children is mine after DNA test. She has been cheating on me. Whenever we quarrel, it is because of her waywardness.
“She has a property and whenever I chided her for indulging in adultery, she would say it was a matter of time. I didn’t understand that she was planning to move to her site as soon she completed it so that she would be very free.
“Last year, she said she wanted a house help and I advised her to get a male, but she insisted she wanted female. I went to work one day and before I came back she had packed out.”
Kolawole said after back and forth, he decided to divorce Toyin, but in the process, it occurred to him to run a DNA test on their children.
“I did for our first child and the result returned zero per cent compatibility in our blood. I took the child to her house and as I was leaving, I overheard her telling somebody on the phone that ‘they have brought your child, come and pick him.’
“The man on the other end of the phone told her to bring the child to Osogbo. That was why I decided to do DNA for the three remaining children and it turned out that all of them are not mine,” he added.
Toyin, however, rejected the DNA results, insisting that the children belong to Kolawole.
“I don’t accept those results. I was not there when the sample was collected so I didn’t know what samples were collected. I can’t accept those results because I know how I got pregnant. The person that told my (first) child that he is the father has not confirmed the result,” she said.
In angry phone- in reactions, some Nigerians were calling for her head, others said the husband should seize her property.
Anjorin Atte is a private security man attached to a new generation bank. He has been taking care of his family and does whatever is required to make his wife and children happy.
Until June last year his world was intact, in spite of few challenges common to men, however all his life came crumbling around him like a cookie when he wanted to relocate his family to Canada, as part of his preparation, he decided to carry out a DNA for all members of the family.
The DNA result was not only startling but nearly led to a nervous breakdown for him as none of the three children he had been raising belongs to him, according to the DNA test results. That spelt the of the death of their marriage as he could not control himself the day the result came out nearly getting violent with her but for the intervention of the neighbours.
Speaking on how DNA revealed his ex-wife’s infidelity, a High Court Judge in Delta State, Justice Ezonfade Okorodas, while addressing the press sometime in 2021 explained that during the coronavirus lockdowns (in 2020) he received information from an anonymous source that indicated that the last of the three children from his previous marriage was in fact not his biological child.
According to him; “Due to the COVID-19 restrictions at the time, I had to wait until August 2020 to carry out a DNA test. The result, which came out in September 2020, confirmed that I was not the biological father of the child.
“Consequently, I convened a joint meeting between my extended family on the one side, and Celia’s paternal and maternal families (i.e., the Ototo Family of Ovom Town and the Agbagidi Family of Yenagoa Town) on the other side, where I confronted her with the paternity fraud allegation. Although she initially strongly insisted that I was the biological father, she has since confessed to having the child with another man during the course of our marriage.
“This repulsive act of my ex-wife prompted me to conduct DNA tests in respect of the two other children. A few days ago, the results came out. Sadly, none of them is my biological child.
“This abomination has caused excruciating mental trauma to me, my present wife, Barrister (Mrs) Ebi Okorodas and all of the innocent children involved. This is, particularly so, for Ebi, who has had to agree to having DNA tests on the four children of our own marriage. Thankfully, the test results confirm each of them to be my biological child.
“It is important to state that Celia walked away from the marriage when her youngest child (who is now 17 years of age) was just six years old. Since then, all of her children have lived with my wife, Ebi and I, and we have been wholly responsible for their wellbeing and education. Friends, who are close to my family would readily attest to the fact that unless specifically informed, no one could tell that the children were not the biological children of my present wife.
Recently, a well-known radio comedian, Nedu had a fair share of this following an allegation of domestic violence made against him by his former wife, Uzoamaka Ohiri.
Ms. Ohiri accused Nedu of physically abusing her shortly after she gave birth to their child through a Cesarean section. Nedu responded to these allegations with a startling revelation, stating, “our marriage was plagued with a lot of issues. One of which was continuous infidelity from her side that led to me conducting a paternity test on our kids, which led to the revelation that our first son is not my biological son…”
In a response to Nedu’s claim, Ms. Ohiri expressed her surprise, asserting that she was not aware of the paternity issue until a DNA test was conducted.
She shed light on the origins of this DNA scandal during an interview, saying, “I was seeing someone before Nedu; he was pursuing me persistently. I declined his advances after our relationship ended, and that’s when Nedu and I got together.
“Along the line, I discovered I was pregnant. Trust me, if I knew that my first child was not his, I wouldn’t have married him. I couldn’t intentionally pass another man’s child as his own. If I had known, I wouldn’t have walked down the aisle with him. On my wedding day, I was pregnant, and everyone saw it.”
Furthermore, Ms. Ohiri, a mother of three, maintained that she had been faithful during her marriage and questioned Nedu’s claim to her son’s custody.
Recently, there has been controversy surrounding the baby of the late singer, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly called “Mohbad”, as his father,
Joseph Aloba, insists on conducting paternity test on his grandson.
Sharing his thoughts on conducting a DNA test on his grandson during an interview with BBC Pidgin, Mohbad’s father said the right course of action should be taken at the right moment concerning the DNA test.
In his own words, “This thing has come to majority now, not only Nigeria. So they should do the proper thing at the proper time.”
The issue of the paternity of MohBad’s five-month-old son has become a topic of discussion since the singer’s demise with some social media users demanding that the late rapper’s wife submit her son for a DNA test to clear herself from those doubting her loyalty to Mohbad.
According to a Nigerian professor of virology, educational administrator, and former Vice Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Osun State, Oyewale Tomori, it is only in a decadent society that DNA tests at birth will become mandatory. In a normal society with godly and moral standards, he said, paternity issues should not be a normal thing.
He said: “Infidelity and greed are the ingredients of the situation that will make DNA paternity testing a regular or normal thing.”
Going forward, there are fears that unless religious leaders put more emphasis on sanctity of marriage institution, the evil of infidelity the trend will persist.
But many Nigerians spoken to by this medium are of the view that love of money and worldly things are behind the spiral in the number of unfaithful wives.
This worrisome trend is growing among Nigerian married women, both the elite and the illiterates alike. They got impregnated by their lovers and passed it on to their husbands and the unfortunate men are deceived into fathering children that were not there’s.
Professor Fulata Mohammed, a sociologist told Business Hallmark that “there is a growing trend of paternity fraud, and this has become more pronounced in the internet era, where through smartphones men and women easily strike up amorous friendship through social media, exchanging WhatsApp numbers.
Continuing he said, “Paternity fraud occurs when a woman falsely claims that a man is the biological father of her child, leading him to believe he has fathered a child when, in fact, he has not.
“This deception often stems from various motivations, including financial gain, social status or concealing infidelity. Paternity fraud not only shatters trust within relationships, but also has profound effects on the lives of innocent children.
Dr. Areoye Jibola, a medical doctor said “paternity fraud cannot be kept secret forever. DNA has come to stay and will unravel the fraud. Keeping family secrets isn’t as easy as it used to be, as Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) paternity tests are unraveling a lot of buried family secrets. Just one DNA test could change everything for better or for worse.”
Dr. Fred Anthony, a psychologist said paternity fraud has serious psychological effects on the child in question, making him or her to feel less human, degraded with loss of self confidence. Such a child will find it difficult to forgive the mother. Many children are experiencing paternity scandals by learning that their father is really not their biological father.
“Discovering that one has been a victim of paternity fraud can be emotionally devastating for men. It shatters their trust, leaving them grappling with feelings of betrayal, anger, and confusion.
Pastor Babajide Bello, The Head Pastor of Christ Apostolic Church, Alakuko, told Business Hallmark that ” it’s unfortunate that modernism has furthered the cause of Satan and his kingdom. Many people no longer follow God’s injunction with respect to adultery. They treat it with levity. The world is increasingly becoming godless. The sanctity of marriage is violated at will. Shame has gone out of many lives.”
He admonished religious leaders both Christians and Moslem to put more emphasis on obeying God rather than worldly riches.
The Chief Imam of Central Mosque Opeilu, Agbado, Alhaji Abdulazeez Abdulrauf told this medium that “Infidelity has become more pervasive as a result of the influence of westernization in Nigerian life. We must go back to the basics, and shame infidelity and promiscuity on the part of women. There must be collective shaming. It must be seen as a taboo.T oday’s wives are more interested in money, clothes, high premium phones, and since their husbands can hardly afford them, they go into promiscuous relationship. This is bad.”
That paternity fraud is high in Nigeria may be close to the truth. There are reports that Nigeria has the second highest rate of paternity fraud in the world after Jamaica.
Unfortunately, many men have raised children that are not theirs without knowing, and to curb the trend, there have been calls for introduction of mandatory DNA testing at birth.
Probably, the most common mode of paternity is by acknowledgement. Once a man admits he is the father of a child, the case is closed.
In a recent report, a leading DNA testing centre based in Lagos, Nigeria, released its findings on reasons people seek to test, the demographics of those tested, and the outcomes of the tests.
The result of tests conducted on thousands of users at its facility between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023 showed that Lagos accounted for the highest percentage of tests, with 82.89 per cent of the total, followed by Oyo (3.29 per cent), Ogun (3.07 per cent), FCT (2.63 per cent), and Rivers (2.41 per cent).
This heavy concentration in Lagos, particularly, the Mainland (68.14 per cent) compared to the Island (31.86 per cent) owes likely to the location of Smart DNA offices around the purchasing power of the states’ residents, and the high population density of the state, the report revealed.
On the test type, the report disclosed that the majority of tests (89.10 per cent) were conducted for Peace of Mind, followed by Immigration (8.97 per cent), and Legal (0.64 per cent). This suggests that individuals primarily seek DNA testing to confirm biological relationships for personal reasons rather than legal or immigration purposes, the report averred.
A recent United States Embassy report on its Nigerian Green card (immigrant visa) DNA scrutiny glaringly revealed that over 60% of the couples sent for DNA for proof of parentage for their children came back NEGATIVE for the man but POSITIVE for the woman.
What the results have shown are a simple truth: over 60% of Nigerian women might be unfaithful while married, and bring home children from their illicit lovers for another to raise, as his own in other to cover their tracks.
According to sociologists and psychologists, a host of factors explain this phenomenon ranging from male infertility, financial gain, social status or concealing infidelity. With the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) paternity tests, secrets of unfaithful wives are being revealed, thus causing unbalance and chaos in a family of those that were hitherto happily married.
Many people spoken to on this issue are of the view that the figure of unfaithful wives may be higher for the wider Nigerian population because the sample size of the U.S Immigrant visa applications are coming from mostly upper and upper middle class folks. The real mess may be a bit more at the middle and lower class levels.
In the light of this, the three children can belong to a different man after a woman may have been married for many years to another man.
Now that DNA test is handy, there will surely be revelations of secrets. The only reason why some marriages are still intact is that the price of conducting a DNA test is still high, should it become cheaper, many housewives will be exposed. With this in place, Nigerian women who are bent on engaging in infidelity must shelve it now.
Furthermore, a study conducted by the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) found that 27 per cent of paternity tests conducted in Lagos State revealed cases of misattributed paternity. These findings indicate a distressing pattern of deceit affecting countless Nigerian.