After parenting for 17 years three children from his first marriage, a high court justice just discovered he has no genetic relation to the children who have always called him dad.
But Justice Anthony Ezonfade Okorodas of the Delta High Court is all thanks despite the devastating discovery.
It all started during the covid-19 lockdown last year when an anonymous caller buzzed him up, and peeled back the first layer of the news—that the last of the three children by his lawyer ex-wife Celia Juliet (nee Ototo of Ovom, Yenegoa, Bayelsa) is not his.
“Due to the COVID-19 restrictions at the time, I had to wait until August 2020 to carry out a DNA test,” he said in a press release Feb 2.
“The DNA test result which came out in September 2020 confirmed that I was not the biological father of the child.”
Okorodas then convened a extended family meeting with the Ototos, including Celia herself. During the confrontation, she insisted the girl is his, to save face.
She, however, owned up later—that she got pregnant with the child by the other man.
“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,” said Okorodas. “Sadly, none of them is my biological child.”
But the shocking revelation came 11 years after he divorced Celia—after he took care of the youngest, whom Celia left when the child was six, for 17 years, and the other two who are now varsity undergraduates. The first, a female, will be a graduate later this year, and the second will soon enter his 4th year of study.
“This abomination has caused excruciating mental trauma to me, my present wife, Barrister (Mrs) Ebi Okorodas and all of the innocent children involved,” he said.
Perhaps out of self-doubt, the justice had to persuade his present wife to let the fruits of the second marriage go for paternity test.
“Thankfully, the test results confirm each of them to be my biological child.”
So it was not about his inability to father child. Which is why he still has cause to be happy.
The three are still with Okorodas and Ebi whom he said is playing the mother as conscientiously as she can. And the Okorodas have no plan to kick out the children.
“We pray for them to overcome the trauma and become responsible citizens of our country,” he said, promising he still be responsible to them.
His last words for Celia and her boyfriend or boyfriends: We leave them to their conscience.
Exposure of paternity scandal has been on the rise since the technology became available in Nigeria, and the revelation, even among the high and the mighty, has been devastating.
Some experts have said 3 out of every 10 wife defrauded their husbands this way.
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