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|DNA Tests : A Story Of Deception, Frustration, Depression by membranus: 2:13pm On Nov 26, 2023
DNA Tests : A Story Of Deception, Frustration, Depression
By: Ladesope Ladelokun
In recent times, earth- shattering revelations about paternity fraud have left a number of Nigerians gobsmacked. Although infidelity in marriage is not new, some concerned Nigerians argue that recent developments only signposts the scale of destruction of value system in society. LADESOPE LADELOKUN writes on the pains of paternity fraud victims
Just three days after Esther and John Akinmade were joined in holy matrimony, John had an urgent need to travel abroad for a week. But, Esther had yet to conceive at the time he travelled. Confiding in her bosom friend, Tayo, she told how her conscience had become restless many years after a rendezvous she had with her ex-lover led her to doing the wild thing. Esther revealed that her former lover got her pregnant and her husband only returned to build on the foundation laid by him.
The product of that sexcapade, she said, is now an undergraduate in a Nigerian university as John still has no inkling that he has been living with another man’s son under his roof. Unlike John, Olanrewaju Kolawole and his wife, Toyin, broke the internet recently when the former discovered through a series of DNA tests that he is not the biological father of the four children that called him father. Speaking during a programme aired in Yoruba on Agidigbo FM in Ibadan, Oyo State, he said he married his wife in 2007 but decided to carry the test because of his wife’s alleged promiscuity.
“When I did the test for our first child and the result was zero compatibility in our blood, I took the child to her house. Just as I was leaving, I overheard her telling someone on the phone that ‘’they have brought your child, come and pick him. “She was then told to bring the child to Osogbo. It was on the basis of this that I decided to run DNA tests for the three remaining children and I found out that all of them are not my children,” he said. His wife, Toyin, however, said she could not accept the results because she was not there when the samples were collected, stating that she didn’t know the samples that were collected.
Consistent with the agelong saying that it is only the mother that knows the real father of a child, many untold secrets have perished in the graveyard. However, with advancement in technology, that seeming monopoly has been broken. With the Deoxyribonucleic Acid, DNA, test, instances abound where results have either torn families apart or cemented familial ties. According to a report that covers testing sessions done between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, by Smart DNA, a DNA testing centre in Lagos, more than 25 per cent of the men tested for DNA paternity have found that they are not the biological fathers of their children.
However, experts say a number of women may be innocent of infidelity accusations as their children may be swapped at birth. About 28,000 babies get switched in hospitals every year, temporarily or permanently, out of four million births, says Nicholas Webb, Vice President of Technology for Talon Medi- cal Limited, a San Antonio, Texas-based vendor of a new high-tech ID bracelet for newborns.
Babies switched at birth, Movie Cultist explains, are babies who, because of either error or malice, are interchanged with each other at birth or very soon thereafter, leading to the babies being unknowingly raised by parents, who are not their biological parents. Sunday Telegraph reports that apart from providing information about the ancestral roots of people, a DNA test is a medical test that can identify mutations in the genes and chromosomes.
My weirdest experience -DNA expert
Sharing what he deemed his weirdest experience as the founder of DNA Centre for Paternity Test, Abiodun Salami, bemoaned the scale of havoc paternity fraud has caused marriages. Specifically, he recalled a recent case where a woman ran away, leaving her wrapper in his office after DNA tests revealed that neither her husband nor her lover is the real father of her twins. “I’ve seen a lot. It’s abnormal for a man to bring four children for DNA tests and all the four would be his. At least, one would not be. Most people would see it as something that is not real until it happens to them.
For me, I see it almost on a daily basis and it is almost a norm to see such. If a woman is bringing a child that is not for the husband, it’s like a normal thing which is wrong. But because I’ve seen a lot, it’s not strange to me. I will tell you one story about a man and a wife that were married for five years – no issue. “They were going in and out of hospitals, carrying out tests,and they were both okay. Fortunately or unfortunately, the woman met the former boyfriend, a barrister, when they were in school and they started their relationship back. That month, the woman got pregnant.
The husband at home, who didn’t know what was happening was so happy that God had answered their prayers. At the end of the day, the woman gave birth to twins – two boys. The boys were growing up and they were looking like the real husband. The man outside was mounting pressure on the woman to give him his children based on the story she told him.” Salami explained that things began to fall apart when the wife began to show complete disregard for her husband, threatening to leave with her children. “Soon, the woman started misbehaving and the issue came to divorce.
When the woman was leaving, she said she would take the children along,that he was not the father of the children. The man was shocked. They both went to court. When it came to the issue of child custody, the court sent them to us for DNA testing. When they came, the woman was very abusive. Even when they were filling the form, the woman did not touch the biro the man used. She said the man was filled with ill-luck and she would not touch anything his hands touched. She would not even allow him touch the children. “At the end of the day, we took the samples of the husband and the lawyer lover.
When the result was ready, we told the husband that he was not the father of the kids. The wife booed the man. Then, it was the turn of the lover. When it was announced that the lover was not also the owner of the kids, the man was shocked. He asked us what we were talking about. The lover left disappointed. The woman ran away, leaving her wrapper in my of- fice. I still have her wrapper in my office.”
Paternity test by traditionalists
Long before DNA test became the major settler of paternity issues, traditionalists had their way of going about paternity tests. Speaking to Sunday Telegraph, a traditionalist, Chief Kashi Agbelekale, said: “There are several ways of determining if a child belonged to a family.In some families, a snake crawls to the baby and stays there with it till the break of dawn. If the baby is a male, the snake would visit the baby for nine days but would visit seven times if it were a female. The said snake would kill the baby if the child does not belong to the father.”
Also, a septuagenarian, Sherifat Yusuf, said: ” The simple test in some places is the obi abata( kolanut test). You split the kola nuts and place them briefly on the forehead of the baby. If there are four pieces of the broken kolanut and only one faces up when they are thrown on the floor, the child is a bastard. Also,the diviners were also consulted. Sadly, these days, it’s hard to come across truthful ones.” Another traditionalist, Folakemi Ajenifuja said:“In my husband’s family in Gbagura, Abeokuta, Ogun State, what they do when a woman is delivered of a baby is simply to prepare a particular soup called ‘Obe Ate’.
“It is Egusi soup with a lizard. The Egu- si soup has no pepper and the lizard can either be fried or just washed and cut to pieces before it is added to the soup. The attitude of the wife usually determines if it will be fried or not. If she’s friendly and respectful, she will definitely enjoy the privilege of eating the lizard fried but a wife with a loose tongue does not enjoy the same privilege. “But I can confidently tell you that the baby would fall sick and die if it doesn’t belong to the father within seven days. In some families, what they do is to simply pour water over the roof.
The wife goes in and out of the house seven times for a female child and nine times for a male child. In the course of doing that, the baby must pee. When the baby pees, there is always joy in the air. If the baby fails to pee, it’s definitely a bastard. ”
Questions about reliability of DNA results
Despite being deemed the major settler of paternity disputes, there are instances where DNA tests may not be totally reliable due to human error, even in advanced countries. In a chat with Sunday Telegraph, Bimbo Ashekun, told how a DNA test that went wrong in the United States almost erroneously gave her sister the eternal tag of a prostitute. “The father of my sister’s son initially denied impregnating her.
As the boy was growing up, the father’s mother began to see his son in him(the boy) because of the striking resemblance. That compelled her to approach my sister to release the boy to her, so she could perform the roles of his father. My sister obliged and she enrolled him in one of the most expensive schools in Lagos.” Ashekun said her nephew’s grandmother would later facilitate his travel to the United States to join his father, but that marked the beginning of another drama.
“So, she eventually connected him with the father in the US. The father insisted on a DNA test. Unfortunately, there was a switch in results. His son was given someone else’s result. He didn’t waste time in sending the boy back to Nigeria. That was like a confirmation of his suspicion. He called my sister a prostitute and all manner of unprintable names. His mother did the same after which she returned the boy to my sister. After a year, the father was begged by those who conducted the test that his son’s result was mistakenly swapped.
They came to beg my sister with N10million to release the son. ” Commenting, Abiodun Salami, a senior geneticist with DNA Centre for Paternity Test, said rising cases of paternity fraud has led to the proliferation of centres that issue phony results. “Right now, because of many cases involving paternity fraud, many centres are springing up, issuing fake results to people. I’ve seen seven or eight cases where people came back to do the right thing. I have like five or six cases right now.
They were at some other facilities. They came to our place to verify,and the results are different. I’ve told them to sue them. Someone would say they can do a DNA test for N100,000,and I ask how? For two people (father and child), it’s impossible. You can’t get it for N100,000. Most of the tests are not run in the country. And this money is converted to dollars. One dollar is over N1,200. So, when somebody is saying they want to run a test for N100,000, we tell people to run.”
Worsened by value system destruction
For history lecturer and traditionalist, Dr Temitope Fagunwa, nothing is really new about infidelity and paternity fraud but the total collapse of the value system has exacerbated the vices. “There is indeed a prevalence of cases of infidelity. This is not to say that the phenomenon hasn’t been in existence before now. I think for one to say morality was never under threat cannot be true. “The collapse of the economic system implies that several moral codes that society ordinarily ought to imbibe may be withered, which is what is happening today.
The question of a woman having a total number of four children to a man that is not her husband in itself explains a great threat we are under, which is a total destruction of our value system. But there were ways our ancestors were able to manage this crisis based on their understanding of the issues.” He added: “Spiritually, our ancestors were able to do that in the sense that, immediately it was confirmed that a woman had taken in, a diviner would be called to perform normal divination.
Answers would be provided on how the child delivery period would be and other findings in that process, the paternity of the child would be revealed. For many of us, we heard people say “that child is a bastard”. It shows it has always been an issue. Infidelity is heavily frowned at but it has always been in existence. But the breakdown in our social value system has exacerbated the issue.”
‘Over 200 people begged me to compromise results since I started DNA testing in Nigeria’
No fewer than 200 people, according to DNA expert, Abiodun Salami, have either begged or made attempts to offer him mouth-watering gifts to alter results of DNA tests. According to him, acceding to such request would mean the beginning of the end of his career as he rebuffed such entreaties. “Over 200 people have begged us to compromise results – with offers. We have seen high class people, low class people, we have seen people beg us to save their marriages. We have a name to protect.
I told a woman,if your husband has paid N200,000, and you’re bribing me with N10million, N20million , will N20million cover my forced retirement? We started DNA testing in Nigeria. I’ve been running it for over 25 years now. We were the first to start it here. I have a name to protect. If I give you a wrong result and your husband discovers, how do we defend ourselves? That’s the end of business for us. If somebody comes to arrest us,who do we call? We just advise them to talk to their husbands to settle the matter.”
Speaking on how desperate some women can get, Salami said: ” Some people would come for tests with their husbands. They deliberately forget something. As the lift is going down,they just run up to say they left their phones. “In the process of picking up their phones, they start begging and rolling on the floor, telling us to save their marriages. So, when I heard the issue of the woman with four children in Ibadan, it wasn’t new to me because I’ve seen a lot. Look, this morning alone, I’ve opened some results. I’ve sent about 30 results to those that came for tests.
Out of 30, 19 failed the paternity test.” On why the first child in some families does not belong to the father, he said: “We have discovered that among the young ladies getting married now, most times, the first child doesn’t belong to the husband. Some of them had two or three boyfriends when they were still undergraduates,and most of them don’t stop the relationship. You find out that their lovers sponsor their wedding. They pay for the hall, they are the chairman of the occasion.
They go back to have Thank You fun and they get pregnant. The husband at home thinks he’s the father of the child. It’s disheartening.” Although an unexpected result from a DNA test can be devastating, it can still be managed well to prevent a slip into depression. In a chat with Sunday Telegraph, a psychologist, Yemi Okeowo, said there was need to be emotionally prepared before going for a DNA test, stating that the first port of call when a result turns out unexpected is to get a counselling psychologist.
|Re: DNA Tests : A Story Of Deception, Frustration, Depression by immortalcrown(m): 2:14pm On Nov 26, 2023
membranus:This is acceptable when the DNA test result shows the child lacks blood compatibility with the mother. If the child has blood compatibility with the mother but lacks blood compatibility with the father, baby swap is a story for the gods.
membranus:This one played two men. This shows that each of the four children might have a separate biological father. There are scums in every gender but all we hear is, "Men are scum".
|Re: DNA Tests : A Story Of Deception, Frustration, Depression by RepoMan007: 2:35pm On Nov 26, 2023
Women are wonderful creatures o. Zero over four. Why did she allow it reach four if it was hard to conceive?
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