The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered that a DNA test be conducted on nine-year-old Chidera Ekwerekwu following a protracted battle between the family of a late businessman, Victor Ekwerekwu, and his widow, Ndidiamaka Ekwerekwu, over the paternity of the child.
But the widow has gone to Justice D.A. Onyefulu of the Anambra State High Court for an order restraining the IG from releasing the result of the test conducted on the child.
According to her, subjecting the child to a DNA test “amounts to slavery, servitude and a degrading treatment, which is a gross violation of his fundamental rights as enshrined in Section 34 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.”
While asking the court to declare any result arising from the DNA test a nullity, Mrs Ekwerekwu, in the suit filed by her lawyer, C.C. Obikwelu of Chidiobieze Chambers in Onitsha, prayed that she be paid N6bn as damages by both the police and her deceased husband’s family.
Among other reliefs, the plaintiff demanded “an order nullifying the result obtained from a purported DNA test conducted on the applicants forcibly without her consent and rendering such results null and void and not to be accepted by any court of law same being obtained by illegal and fraudulent means.”
Named as the first to sixth respondents were Charles Ekwerekwu, Njideka Ndiwe, Nonso Okechukwu, IG Mohammed Adamu, Abba Kyari (Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head of Intelligence Response Team) and CP of Anambra State.
Newsmen had reported that the remains of Victor, who died on October 29, 2019, had been in a mortuary following a 10-month battle over the paternity of the boy, as well as the cause of his death.
A petition to the IG, dated January 3, 2020, by his family, said Ndidiamaka brought the child a few hours after Victor’s death and claimed that the deceased was responsible for the child.
The family, in the petition, said they suspected foul play given that the couple never had any child in their 18 years of marriage.
Besides, the deceased’s family alleged that Ndidiamaka later proceeded to the probate registry where she registered the child, formerly known as Ezenwa Onochie Ekwerekwu, as next of kin of the deceased.
They demanded a thorough investigation into both the paternity of the child and cause of Victor’s death.
The IG therefore ordered the IRT unit of the police, headed by Kyari, to act swiftly.
Ndidiamaka was arrested on June 25, 2020, after which she led police detectives to her alleged accomplice, one Miss Hellen Ogbunankwo, who was also picked up with the child in her custody.
Although they have since been in detention at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, the results of both maternity and paternity tests conducted on the child were being awaited.