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Rights Of Children Born Out Of Wedlock

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Section 42 (2) of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides thus, No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth. This provision of the constitution provides for equal right for children born in a lawful wedlock and those born out of wedlock. The Supreme Court in the case of Salubi V. Nwariaku (2003) NWLR (Pt 819) endorsed this provision of the constitution, which it held that children of the deceased who were born within a lawful wedlock and the children born out of wedlock are entitled to equal shares to the properties of the deceased.
A child born out of wedlock has a right to apply for letter of administration, Section 26 (1) of the Administration of Estate law, laws of Lagos State, Volume 1, Cap A3, 2003 provides that “In granting administration the court shall have regard to the rights of all persons interested in the estate of the deceased person or the proceeds of sale thereof ….. and any such administration may be limited in any way the court thinks fit”. Note that the children born out of wedlock fall within the category of persons interested. And based on the above provision of the Constitution, he cannot be denied his right based on the circumstances of his birth, i.e, his right of applying for letter of administration. In Chief J.L.E Duke V. Rev (Dr) Peter Etim Duke (2014) LPELR -23095 (CA), the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the trial court where it granted letters of administration in respect to the deceased to both the apellant and respondent. Although the appellant, who was born within the lawful wedlock of the deceased, had contended that the respondent was not entitled to a grant of the letter of administration because he was born out of an adulterous relationship. The court held that, that was not enough ground to refuse the respondent his right to be appointed as an administrator to his late father’s estate.
Also in Mgbodu V. Mgbodu (2015) 12 NWLR (pt 1474) 415, the Court of Appeal held that a child born out of wedlock must not be prevented from partaking in the sharing of his deceased father’s estate. In the words of His Lordship, Bolaji-Yusuff, JCA, “it has long been established that in this land, Nigeria, once a father acknowledges the paternity, of a child whether born in or out of wedlock, the child is regarded as a legitimate child and is entitled to share in the estate of his/her father… This custom has now received Constitutional approval through Section 42 of the 999 Constitution (as amended) …..
It is also important to note that letters of administration can be set aside for the non inclusion of children born out of wedlock, as was the case in Mgbodu V Mgbodu (supra). It is advisable for the adoption of consensual approach in the administration of the estate and distribution of the assets of the deceased since both parties have equal right in the face of the law.

 

Nkechi Bright Ewere

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Law/Judiciary

Five Feared Killed In Fresh Kaduna Attack

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A Sunday evening attack by gunmen on Unguwan Magaj community in Kauru Local Council of Kaduna State may have left four indigenes dead and 36 homes torched.
But the bravery of the youths reportedly led to the death of one of the attackers and confiscation of his handset.
Useful information was said to have been retrieved from the phone that had allegedly been handed over to the police.
In a statement yesterday, the National Public Relations Officer of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Biniyat, said: “The invaders, who came by 6:45 pm yesterday (Sunday) from behind the hills that serve as the boundary of Kaduna State and Ganawuri, Plateau State, were numbered over a 100.
“They attacked from four flanks, causing pandemonium among unsuspecting villagers as the youths tried to fend them off.”
He continued: “After about 30 minutes of violence, the following were unfortunately killed: Mrs Hanatu Joseph, 58, mother of five children; Mrs Sarah Sunday, 40, she left behind her husband and six children.
“The others are: Mrs Dije Sajay, 55, married with six children; and Mr Sunday David, 47, married with seven children. He was a retrenched civil servant.”
He noted: “The attackers targeted food stores and bans of grains, making sure they burnt as much as they could. This is to ostensibly cause starvation, especially under this lockdown from the Coronavirus.
“Police and soldiers came into Unguwan Magaji only this morning (yesterday) around 9 am and saw the corpse of the dead herdsman, which they later took away.”
Besides, Biniyat said: “Early this month yesterday, Ibrahim Atiga, 42, a native of Unguwan Magaji, was killed by herdsmen on his way to the farm. He has since been buried.”

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COVID-19: Nigerian Correctional Service Receives 2nd Batch Of PPE

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The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Lagos State Command, yesterday said the state government had released the second batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the service.
The Spokesman of the command, Supt. Rotimi Oladoku, made this known in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
The Tide reports that the items donated were hand gloves, face marks, inferred thermometers and sanitisers.
Oladokun said the gesture was part of the preventive measures taken by the state government, especially at custodial centers, to contain the spread of the virus.
“The first set of the PPE was released to the command on March 27 and the command also received the second bath on April 20,” he said.
According to Oladokun, the Lagos State NCoS Controller, Mr Sam Iyakoregha, received the items on behalf of the Controller-General of NCoS, Ahmed Ja’afaru.
“The NCoS thanks the Lagos State government for this tremendous support. The NCoS is well positioned to prevent COVID-19 in the custodial centres,” he said.

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I’ll Give Special Attention To Respect For Citizens’ Fundamental Rights – CP …Citizens Set Agenda For Him

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The new Rivers State  Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mukan has said that he would give special  attention to  respect for citizens’ fundamental human rights in the state.
This was contained in a statement issued by the  Public Relations Officer of the Rivers State Police  Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni and made available to newsmen last Monday in Port Harcourt .
The statement said that Mr Mukan would rekindle the people’s confidence in the police and as well reposition the command for efficiency and productivity.
According to the statement, the new Police Commissioner would be expected to work with humility and integrity as part of efforts to command a better police force in the state.
It further revealed that the Rivers police boss has an impeccable track record in crime fighting, thus the trust to make good his promises.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, however, through the statement, solicited for cooperation in terms of information sharing from the people in order to help the command to serve them better.
Meanwhile, some members of the public have called on the new Police Commissioner to remain neutral and face his primary assignment of policing.
A Port Harcourt-Based lawyer, Emperor Nnaoma, who spoke in an interview with The Tide , yesterday, said Mr Mukan must pay priority attention to his core mandate of crime fighting, if he wants to succeed in the state.
Nnaoma, recalled that previous Commissioners of Police who went outside their major task never ended well in the state.
In his view, the Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, King Leslie N Eke, said the Commissioner should make out time to check the activities of some of his men who allow themselves into chieftaincy issues in the communities.
The Eze Gbakagbaka/Nyerisi Eli Woji, said that such interference has divided the attention of some police officers in the state as they are always tempted to dance to the tune of their pay masters.

 

By: King Onunwor

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