Will You Have to Pay Spousal Maintenance to HIM?

In divorce proceedings in Nigeria alimony is known as maintenance under S. 69 of the Matrimonial Causes Act.

Alimony is increasingly called “spousal support” because it’s more gender neutral. The idea that a former husband can receive support from his ex – wife after a divorce is still a shock to some women. Halle Berry infamously lashed out at her baby daddy earlier this year.

A wife can be responsible for providing support to her husband post-divorce just like a husband can be responsible for providing support to his ex-wife. In Nakanda v. Nakanda the Nigerian Court of Appeal held that under the Matrimonial Causes Act, the position of the husband and the wife are the same and either party is entitled to maintenance from the other, provided the conditions in Section 70 of the Act are taken into consideration. The court further held that the old Common Law idea that the husband must maintain the wife is repugnant to the idea behind the Matrimonial Causes Act.

How do you know when you might be one of the women who finds herself having to pay spousal maintenace or support?

Spousal support is based on need and ability to pay. If you don’t make significantly more than your husband, you won’t have to pay spousal maintenance, and you can stop reading now.

The High Court is empowered by section 70 of the Matrimonial Causes Act to make various orders in respect of the maintenance of spouses. By virtue of the provisions of Section 70(1)(2) of the Matrimonial Causes Act, in granting maintenance, the Court is required to consider what is just and equitable in the circumstances of each case, having regard to the means, earning capacity, the conduct of the parties to the marriage and all other relevant circumstances. There is no specific formula for determining spousal maintenance. In practice courts have been known to consider the length of the marriage (Ajakpe v Ajakpe) and the conduct of the parties when making maintenance orders.

What Are You?

Emerging Thoughts on the Politics of Labeling (In Progress)

The US democratic presidential primary race

Hillary Clinton’s protests of sexism and discrimination

I am but do not know I am

Until someone says

You are a woman

You are a daughter

You are a mother

You are a wife

You are a libertarian

You are a feminist

You are a narcissist

But I resent the limitations of labels

I spent years fighting the label of a feminist

When I explored ideological feminism I discovered a field of many factions

Now I am confronted with questions about what type of feminist I am

Socialist? Ecological? First Wave? Third Wave? Womanist? Motherist? Etc. Etc. Etc

“The role of victim is very convenient because it frees the self-declared victim from any responsibility, while providing a posture of moral superiority. It also obscures certain inconvenient facts that might suggest a different explanation for the lagging integration of some immigrant groups—such as the relatively high crime rates, the oppression of women, and a tradition of forced marriage.

Equal treatment is the democratic way to overcome traditional barriers of blood and soil for newcomers. To me, that means treating immigrants just as I would any other Danes. And that’s what I felt I was doing in publishing the 12 cartoons of Muhammad last year.

Those images in no way exceeded the bounds of taste, satire, and humour to which I would subject any other Dane, whether the queen, the head of the Church, or the prime minister.

By treating a Muslim figure the same way I would a Christian or Jewish icon, I was sending an important message: You are not strangers, you are here to stay, and we accept you as an integrated part of our life. And we will satirize you, too. It was an act of inclusion, not exclusion; an act of respect and recognition.”

Flemming Rose, cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten and publisher of the Muhammad cartoons

‘Asked about the Journal’s characterization of his voting record, Obama expressed doubts about the survey’s methodology, blaming “old politics” labeling of political positions as “conservative” or “liberal” for creating predispositions that prevent problem-solving ‘ (Wikipedia)

While rejecting labels how does one refrain from creating new ones?

Religious labeling – impact and significance

It was a feminist more famous than I that said…she gets called a feminist because she refuses to let her self be treated like a doormat. And so it is, I get branded ‘iron lady’ of the camp because I ask for my rights. I cannot help but wonder…if I were a man would the reaction be different? Are a lot of men also sometimes complacent? A re folks just used to ‘meek’ women around here? but I know some very fiery women! Then again perhaps assertiveness is not a gender specific trait. Duh. Of course. But then why is it so important to every one for women not to be assertive. I ask questions that have been asked and answered so many times.

I am forced to consider the labels I have accepted to bear for myself, labels like feminist. Being a feminist is sometimes limiting, very often limiting.

All this brouhaha over gender. Really exposes us for our backwardness.

UmuAka Named as Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2021 Global Mayors Challenge

Press Release

UmuAka among 50 Champion Cities Selected to Advance in Global Innovation Competition Uncovering Most Transformative Urban Solutions to Emerge During the COVID-19 Pandemic

UmuAka Enters Four-Month Testing Phase with Support from Bloomberg Philanthropies

UmuAka, Nigeria, 16 June , 2021 – UmuAka is one of 50 Champion Cities selected today as finalists in the 2021 Global Mayors Challenge, a global innovation competition that identifies and accelerates the most ambitious ideas developed by cities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These 50 urban innovations rose to the top of a competitive pool of more than 630 applications from 99 countries, in the first-ever Global Mayors Challenge. 

As a Mayors Challenge finalist, UmuAka now advances to the four-month Champion Phase of the competition. From June through October, the 50 finalist cities will refine their ideas with technical assistance from Bloomberg Philanthropies and its network of leading innovation experts. Fifteen of the 50 cities will ultimately win the grand prize, with each receiving $1 million and robust multi-year technical assistance to implement and scale their ideas. Grand Prize Winners will be announced in early 2022.

“These 50 finalists are showing the world that in the face of the pandemic’s enormous challenges, cities are rising to meet them with bold, innovative, and ambitious ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City. “By helping these cities test their ideas over the coming months, we will have a chance to identify cutting-edge policies and programs that can allow cities to rebuild in ways that make them stronger and healthier, and more equal and more just.”

UmuAka proposes to develop an app that enables survivors, social workers, and service providers to report gender-based violence incidents, coordinate services including a city health insurance scheme and provide microfinance to support economic independence. 

“Take the people where they want to go, not where you want them to go. That is what the Mayor’s Challenge, UmuAka Municipal Council and other democratic institutions are all about”  – Chief Nuel Okezuo Oguike, PG of PGs 

The recent Covid19 pandemic worsened existing levels of violence against women and girls VAWG and eroded marginal economic and human development gains made by women in UmuAka in the last two decades. The city leadership and its citizens collaborated to ensure that UmuAka was prepared for the pandemic and the lockdown. Cooperation between the city is its many citizens in Diaspora was at its highest and led to the present idea.  

The 50 Champion Cities submitted ideas addressing four of the most significant challenges borne of the pandemic: Economic Recovery & Inclusive Growth; Health & Wellbeing; Climate & Environment; and Good Governance & Equality. A prestigious selection committee co-chaired by Bloomberg Philanthropies board member Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments, and David Miliband, President & CEO, International Rescue Committee, assessed the applications to determine the Champion City finalists. 

This is always an especially exciting phase of the Mayors Challenge, helping mayors push their innovations to even greater heights,” said James Anderson, head of Government Innovation at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “While 15 cities will ultimately take home grand prizes, all 50 cities receive world class coaching and support to improve their ideas and their potential to improve lives.”  

The 2021 Global Mayors Challenge builds on the success of four previous Bloomberg-sponsored Challenges in the U.S. (2013 and 2018), Europe (2014), and Latin America and the Caribbean (2016). For more information, visit mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2016, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $600 million. For more information, please visit www.bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

About UmuAka, Nigeria                    

Umuaka is a city of about 100,000 people in Njaba local government area of Imo State in south east Nigeria. It is situated mid way along the Orlu/Owerri road. The highway crosses the Ukwuorji-Nkwerre/Amaigbo road at Afo Umuaka Market. Umuaka is bounded on the North by the Njaba River, north east by Ekwe, on the south by Orodo, east by Amurie- Omanze, and on the west by Afara. Umuaka is made up of ten autonomous communities; Achara, Amaiyi, Amakor, Ibele, Isiozi, Obeakpu, Obinwanne, Uba, Ugbele and Umuele.

The main occupation of the people is trade and commerce. The market is a beehive of activity and has been on major trade routes for over 500 years. Farming is reported as a secondary occupation. The area is dense rain forest situated in the Njaba river valley. Njaba River was part of a network of water ways in the rain forest that facilitated trade and development.   For more information visit https://umuakamunicipalcouncil.org and Follow on Instragram @UmuAkaMunicipal

Media Contact

Bloomberg Philanthropies, Ty Trippet, ttrippet@bloomberg.com

UmuAka Municipal Council, Lesley Agams lesley.agams@gmail.com 


Feminism, Exclusion and Silencing

Lesley Agams 21 August 2013

I’ve been pondering notions of feminism and exclusion lately. Even before the hash tag #solidarityisforwhitewomen started to trend last week.  It all started for me when middle class white feminists made out the right to be stay at home moms a feminist issue. That was one reason why I paid close attention; I followed the debate obsessively even though I knew that the issue that started it all had little if anything to do with African women. I had never heard of Hugo Schwyzer before his meltdown triggered a conversation about men in feminism.

As if to underscore the issues of men in feminism, a self-proclaimed male feminist from Nigeria decided to opportunistically jump in and hold forth on the needs of African feminism  and the feelings of white feminists  rather than honouring the anger of WOC and maybe asking why African and Nigerian women were not joining  the debate. He made himself an umpire insisting we conduct a ‘clean conversation’ that does not alienate white feminists. But this is a matter for another post.

My contribution to the larger debate was minimal. While I empathized with my sisters of colour, my personal experience with white feminists is limited and remote. However, I did try to point out that voices of African and Third World women are frequently excluded by women of colour in the west. An Afro-Caribbean woman who claimed western women of colour had no power to exclude anybody asked me for specific examples and I felt I should save it for a blog post.

What are some of the issues important to African that are excluded or ignored by mainstream feminism and frequently by feminist women of colour in the west, the African Diaspora and even certain African feminists? Some of them were raised in the debate, like how white feminists refuse to accept their sisters’ choice to wear the hijab.  However, some issues did not come up, like female circumcision, polygamy, infertility, adoption, entrepreneurship, trading.

Black and white feminists in the west and many African feminists have targeted female circumcision (and I use the word circumcision deliberately) for complete eradication. It is a crude practice in its present form, but many African women have said they support it; can we help them make it a safe option instead of telling them they are wrong? Young boys are dying in South Africa during circumcision rites; the on-going conversation is about ensuring safety not ending the practice.

Western women practice cosmetic surgery of all sorts including genital piercing and vaginoplasty, and call it ‘bodily enhancement’ or ‘body art’, in ‘primitive’ Africa its mutilation. I do not support this practice on children that cannot exercise informed choice but shouldn’t we listen and respect adults who make that very personal choice?  Having a clitoris shouldn’t be a badge of honour. Kola Boof is not my favourite person but she has shown that even infibulation can be erotic and powerful.

I am confronted daily by sisters who are desperate to find a husband or to conceive and who are risking their mental and physical health in the process.  While I believe that a woman’s worth and self-identity are not and should not be dependent on either, how can I ignore her suffering? Why should I tell her she should get a career or  that marriage or having children isn’t really important?  It’s important to her.

Marriage is an important rite of passage in many African cultures; it’s a sign of maturity and responsibility and in a lot of Nigerian communities a single person, male or female, is not allowed to exercise leadership unless they are married.  Marriage and procreation are not just individual choices; they are an obligation of community citizenship. Discrimination against women in marriage is patriarchal oppression, not marriage itself.

The discrimination a Nigerian woman faces if she is married and can’t conceive is very, very real.  The ability to overcome infertility is determined by economic class.  Middle class women have the option of expensive fertility treatments or they adopt another expensive option.  Reducing the cost and ease of adoption and fertility treatments would seem as important for Nigerian women as the right to abortion or contraception.  But are these particular issues on the feminist agenda?

Motherhood provides protection for women. My ancient aunts in the village would ask ‘who will visit you and ask after your welfare when you are old if you don’t have children?’. Stories of old (and young) people dying alone in the west baffle us.  In Nigeria middle and upper class women can afford geriatric care and will have people concerned for their welfare so long as their money lasts even if they don’t have children. But for the working class and poor, rural woman not having children could have harsh consequences in her old age.  

African feminists like Rose Acholonu, Catherine Acholonu , Helen Chukwuma and Molara Ogundipe-Leslie have written extensively on the importance of marriage, family and motherhood in African.  They tried to define an African feminism that recognizes and celebrates these communal values in opposition to western feminism that promoted individualism and saw marriage and motherhood only as oppressive patriarchal burdens or personal pleasure.  They also argue persuasively that the Africa worldview is not primarily patriarchal but based on equal male-female complementarity.  Are we throwing out the baby with the bath water? Yet again?

African women have told us polygamy gives them more options and freedom, do we respect that?  In the late 80s Women in Nigeria (you might want to explain what this organisation is) held its first conference with market women and they failed to reach a compromise on polygamy in their final communique on the issue. The matter remains one of contestation and has been largely ignored by feminists as a matter of individual choice rather than a part of the feminist agenda. Polygamy is still demonized but apparently it does work for some women.

The reaction of human rights and women’s rights groups to increasing homophobia on the continent has become as predictable as a knee jerk.  Feminists in the Diaspora have been especially vocal on insisting that homophobic legislation and discrimination is resisted. Let me state that I am a liberal and that I believe sexuality is a choice and a right but for every LGBT person killed there are hundreds of women killed at the hands of male sexual partners that go largely unremarked. Legislation on VAW could use the same fervour and support rallied against homophobic legislation.

I have no sympathy for homophobia but how do we address the underlying fears that breed the prejudice?  It is popular to say that homophobia is driven by the patriarchy’s need to keep women in their place but are their alternative narratives? Could it be that homophobia is at least partially driven by a fear of its impact on family structures and family values that we have already identified as being central to Africa’s ideology? 

Getting A Covid19 Vaccine In Nigeria

“The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that it has vaccinated 513,626 Nigerians so far.” About 500,000 vaccinated in one month? That’s less than 17,000 a day. It’s worse than I thought! At FMC Jabi I did the math with the staff based on their soooooooooo slow process at 36,000 a day. And calculated it would take 10 years to cover the Nigerian population! I didn’t know yet that the goal was 40 percent of the country’s population, an estimated 80 million people, before the end of 2021, and 30 percent more by the end of 2022! Ha!

Here’s what I’ve learnt and deduced from my vaccine experience in Abuja so far. They are more concerned with capturing the data than increasing the clicks. Good. Data has been one of our weaknesses. There are no onsite storage facilities so vaccines were transported in old fashioned coolers from only God knows where. They refused to say. I waited 3 hours for them to arrive. It was my choice. On average it took 2-3 hour to process each vaxxee. They captured, scanned and logged lots of stuff before administering vax. And took their sweet time doing it. Better slow than sorry, my professional self observed.

Then I calculated how many more work teams would be needed to surge the number. Realized the objective wasn’t broad coverage. Wondered how much money had been budgeted, how much was released and how much was diverted. I’ve worked on all aspects and in all roles of project management in Nigeria. I know exactly what’s going on. Like any good shopkeeper. So I wasn’t surprised when NOI polls reported that 9 out of 10 Nigerians agreed that you. “must be very careful when dealing with people.” Don’t get it wrong. This corroborates an old HBR report that found only 1 in 10 people were honest by default. Its a global phemon. Truth is, there are little consequences for bad behavior and big consequences for ‘whistleblowing’ globally. Haven’t you heard about Oxfam’s latest adventures in sexploitaion?

Because I didn’t expect it to take that long to get the vaccine I didn’t bring anything to read, like I usually do when going to government offices. Plus my phone battery was too low to cruise the net. So to keep my mind from drifting into rage or boredom I put on my professional cap started observing and analyzing the process. This is a key insight. I didn’t focus on the people. I focused on the process. I took Human nature as given to focus on process, group process, group dynamics and group think.

Portraits of Buhari, Bello, the senior and junior health ministers, chairman of the FMC Jabi board and its medical director looked over the hall and created a clear chain of power and command. I identified the work floor enforcers. Assessed the hierarchy. I must say the execution was flawless if slow. But it made about as little consideration for the human element as I did. We were the herd of people they were trying to direct through the process with military precision. We were expected to comply. They were the Experts. They were in charge. When asked a direct question they were all noncommittal like bureaucrats all over the world,. No one had any visible form of ID. Which wasn’t so bad with the uniformed nurses but was incredibly disconcerting with the un-uniformed staff. The fact they all had their faces half covered with masks did not help. I realize I can’t identify any of them, if anything went wrong. Especially the senior staff. And I can tell from how the underlings respond to them they will not make reliable witnesses if asked. This was getting surreal now. Like a bad horror movie.

Like a good Nigerian I silently say my own equivalent of ‘It is not my portion’ and yank my thoughts away from disaster. I focus on the process. I notice one of the masked nurses eyeing me menacingly. I had challenged their oga madam earlier when they told us to wait if we can wait for the vaccines to arrive. They had told me the same thing an hour before that. I asked the same question. “Wait for how long?” But with more impatience. Oga Madam had tried to bark me down. She thought I might be one of those people that wouldn’t talk back. A couple of other people in the hall raised their voice to agree with me. “She is saying the truth now. How long should we wait?” Na how trouble dey start. I had made my point. There was no need to escalate. I sat down. But all the workers had marked me as potential trouble. Some were soothing, some amused, some became surly. This particular nurse looked down right menacing. “What you looking at?” I had to ask eventually and give her my own menacing stare. She didn’t back down. I ignored her. She prowled around, her eyes glaring at me. I was confused. How far exactly was she ready to go? I didn’t need to find out. I was going to get this vaccine and I was going to observe, record and analyse the experience.

The drama queen in me was like “Na God bring me here today to take my eye see.” A couple weeks ago I had thought I would need to tap my ‘connections’ to get a vaccine. Like most Nigerians I did not have accurate information and I expected the system to hoard access. You know, like they did with the CACOVID palliatives? BTW. What happened to that story? Anyway. I was beginning to think how fortuitous that I chose to just walk into the FMC instead and see ‘How far?’ You should see me when I get messianic 🙄 Some of you have. Sorry. I hope you found it entertaining, at least.

“I’m going to report to all those portraits,” I said with a shimmy and a sweeping gesture. “Do you know if they sent me to report on you?”

Useless people. Instead of giving me a Coke to cool temper they sent Nurse Muscles. Smh. As if I can’t defend myself. I make a couple of loud business calls. Sha generally running my business. Signalling how precious my time is, how important I am. My project manager meets me at the clinic. I had put her name down. When they suggest she come back the next week for her vax after she’s been waiting an hour, I quick quick cancel my ride, wait with am. And they quick quick gave her the shot. As we leave I wonder if there are special teams giving VIP house to house or office to office service. Because its 4.30pm and I just spent the past 5 hours stuck in an environment that was threatening AND not really covid19 complaint if you remove the masks. No social distancing, no sanitizer, no temperature checks.

The only side effect I had to the vaccine was drowsiness. After I got home and had a bubble bath I went to sleep. The next day I posted to my home town WhatsApp group that I’d had the vaccine. There had been intense debates about the vaccine on the group. I wanted to show them it was safe but I also wanted to tell them that if I died they should hold Grace D. responsible. Grace D. is the name of the nurse that signed my vaccine certificate. It is the only name I got. I wonder if it’s her real name? I kept staring at her face when she took off her mask to eat the lunch brought in for them. She didn’t look at all like I she did with her mask on. That’s when it dawned on me that I could possibly identify anyone there! Am I going to write that sweeping report? I think I have. This is my report. Will I send it to The Portraits? Probably not. I WILL send it to the SERVICOM and NCDC though. Nowadays I only do what I got to do. Nigeria cannot make me leave my work and be running upandan to fix her while I leave my life to fall apart.

(Meanwhile, what pronoun do you think goes with Nigeria? Think about it? She/Her? He/Him? They?Their? And does that make Nigeria a mother land or father land? 🤔 )

For years I have been offended by the way so called leaders, politicians, bureaucrats and governments have pushed citizens around but people need to be pushed and challenged. Including the people who are doing the pushing. When they push you have to push back. It’s how it works. Nothing personal. MLK called it creative tension. Love and power to him. The most valuable lesson here? ALL design needs to be Human centered.

P.S. Like I told my village people, for traders and business men who travel a lot the vaccine will soon become a requirement for international travel. Those that don’t travel, may never be asked to show proof of vaccination. At least, not any time soon. After reading Ope Adetayo’s article I can’t help but roll my eyes. Naija! We are always making aspirational plans without a glance in the direction of reality. Vaccinate 80 million Nigerians by the end of 2022? How? With what? Are we being a wee bit ambitious? Meanwhile, someone will be expecting an A for effort. But like a good Nigerian, I wish them all the best. I can’t keel myself. As a frequent traveler that wants to get back to my travels I have taken my first jab. I’m pretty certain the government has expensive staff, advisers and consultants to help them figure it out.


Yesterday, in the middle of representing the interests of a client whose business was being hampered by the overzealousness and high-handedness of some personnel of the Nigeria Police, thanks to my brother, Kunle Mckmouth Daramola, I came across a video where an artificially ginger-haired lady was supposedly amplifying the position of Nigerian Law concerning the issue of PATERNITY.

The lady in question is either an illiterate, a jester, a mischief-maker or a wannabe lawyer.
This is so because the only thing Madam Ginger-hair succeeded in doing with the video which has – not surprisingly – gone viral, is to mislead the entire world as to the position of Nigerian Law apropos PATERNITY.

Basically, as at TODAY, the position of the law on the determination of PATERNITY in Nigeria is as espoused by the COURT OF APPEAL, Per Mbaba, JCA in the case of TONY ANOZIA V. MRS. PATRICIA OKWUNWA NNANI & IGNATIUS “NNANI” (2015) 8 NWLR (PT. 1461) 241.

FACTS OF THE CASE The facts of the case which is otherwise known as ANOZIA V. NNANI are that the Appellant filed a suit against a married woman (the 1st Respondent) and her son (the 2nd Respondent) seeking for a declaration of the paternity of the 2nd Respondent. His case was that he had sexual intercourse with the 1st Respondent sometime in 1957, at a time when the 1st Respondent’s husband was terminally ill and incapable of performing sexual acts. The Respondents denied the claims. While the matter was yet to be tried, the Appellant filed an application seeking for an order of court referring parties for a DNA test.

The trial court refused the application on the ground that granting same would amount to allowing the Appellant to use the interlocutory application to realise the relief he sought in the main suit. The Appellant’s appeal was unanimously dismissed by the Court of Appeal. In the said case which is now before the SUPREME COURT in Appeal No. SC201/2015, the Court of Appeal made judicial pronouncements on some issues, FIVE (5) pf which are most relevant to this discourse.

PRONOUNCEMENT 1 ON THE MEANING OF DNA:”DNA, that is, “deoxyribonucleic acid” is a molecule that contains the genetic code of any organism. It is hereditary and has become an euphemism for scientific analysis of genetic constitution to determine one’s roots.” (Page 256, Paragraph H)

PRONOUNCEMENT 2 ON WHEN THE COURT CAN ORDER DNA TEST:”Where a person is a minor (not mature adult) and his paternity is in issue, the court can order the conduct of DNA test in the overall interest of the child, to ascertain where he belongs.

“However, this is not the situation in the instant case where the appellant had a duty to establish his claim on the 2nd respondent, independently, and to produce such evidence to the court. Of course, if he elected to use DNA test to establish his claim, it was up to the appellant to go for it on his own, and/or woo the respondents to do so, without a resort to the coercive powers of the court, to compel his adversary to supply him with the possible evidence he needed to prove his case.” (Page 257, Paragraphs B-C)

“Per MBABA, JCA at Pages 256-257, Paragraphs H-A:I doubt whether that form of proof can be ordered or is necessary to determine the paternity of a 57 years old man, who does not complain about his parenthood, just to please or indulge a self acclaimed predator, who emerges to distabilize family bonds and poses as a biological father!
“I think it is only the 2nd respondent (a mature adult) that can waive his rights and/or seek to compel his parents (or those laying claim to him) to submit to DNA test to prove his root.”

PRONOUNCEMENT 3 ON WHETHER AN ADULT CAN BE COMPELLED TO SUBMIT TO DNA TEST:”A court cannot order an unwilling adult or senior citizen to submit to DNA test, in defiance of his fundamental rights to privacy for the purpose of extracting scientific evidence to assist the appellant in the instant case to confirm or disprove his wish that the 2nd respondent – a 57 year old man – is his child, of an illicit amorous relationship!

“I  think appellant’s claim at the court below, founded on an obscene and reprehensible immoral foundation, was a scandal and blackmail, which a sound lawyer would be ashamed to associate with.” (Page 254, Paragraphs F-H)
PRONOUNCEMENT 4ON THE DETERMINATION OF THE PATERNITY OF A CHILD:”If a party is claiming paternity, a court of law should be allowed to determine same on proof of evidence relating to paternity, which could only be done by referral for a DNA test of the parties involved. After such test, the court has a duty to declare the actual father of the child in dispute in consonance with evidence at its disposal.” [OLAYINKA V. ADEPARUSI (2011) LPELR 2697 referred to.] (Page 256, Paragrahs F-G).

PRONOUNCEMENT 5 ON PRESUMPTION IN RESPECT OF A CHILD BORN WITHIN WEDLOCK:”A woman has the right to say who the father of her child is, and of course, where a child is born within wedlock, the PRESUMPTION is conclusive that the child is the seed or product of the marriage.” (Page 256, Paragraphs C-D) And this PRONOUNCEMENT 5 was where Madam Ginger-hair got it all wrong!

PRESUMPTIONS A PRESUMPTION is an assumption that is made in law that will stand as a fact unless someone comes forward to contest it and REBUTS (disproves) it with clear and convincing evidence.

A REBUTTABLE presumption is an assumption of fact accepted by the court until rebutted (disproved).
Generally, all presumptions can be regarded as REBUTTABLE, and the PRESUMPTION OF PATERNITY is no exception.
The presumption of paternity is rebuttable on the presentation of clear and irrefutable evidence to the contrary, as clearly stated by the Court of Appeal in the PRONOUNCEMENT 2.

CONCLUSION In a nutshell, the CURRENT position of Nigerian Law is that when a MARRIED woman gives birth to a CHILD, her HUSBAND is 100% PRESUMED to be the father of the child.And where the PATERNITY of the said CHILD is in contention, upon the application of one of the parties, the court CAN and SHOLUD order a DNA test to be conducted to determine the TRUE father of the CHILD.

Conversely, an ADULT is 100% PRESUMED to know his TRUE father.And where the PATERNITY of the said ADULT is in contention, except the ADULT surrenders himself for a DNA test, upon the application of one of the parties, the court CANNOT and SHOULD NOT order a DNA test to be conducted to determine the father of the ADULT.

I’m Back & I’m Out!

It’s been a minute. I wasn’t sure at the time why I stopped blogging regularly 2 years ago. I felt it had something to do with this but I wasn’t sure. There were hints here and here and here. And scattered around my offline life too. Now it all makes sense.

I was profoundly honoured to be made Umuaka Times Newspaper Man of the Year 2020. I would have been offended if they made me Woman of the Year. And Person of the Year sounds wishy washy.

I outperformed the men. Let’s be clear about it! And hopefully I have raised the bar. I look forward to more from all my brethren in Umuaka, in Nigeria & all over the world, both Male & Female. I want to inspire everyone to do more and be more. It has been interesting experiencing life in this female embodiment.

You have to appreciate and admire the time & effort that goes into being a ‘celebrity’ glamming up every day. It IS a full time job! I spent hours in the studio for this photoshoot. Me, who keeps her hair short because who has time to fuss with hair every morning?

For me this photoshoot was a symbolic ritual – a stretching of the imagination & its possibilities. A journey into liminal spaces.

The stories are hard to tell & inauthentic till one accepts one’s own truth.

“You are hiding,” Binyavanga Wainaina said to me in 2016.

I was hiding.

Put on your sunshades.

I’m out! 😎

Ancestors be praised!

Just Live It

Women’s Crisis Centre, Owerri is Recruiting A Finance Officer For Their Imo State Office

Location: Umuaka, Njaba Local Government Area, Imo, Nigeria

Date of Joining: Immediate

Duration 3- 4 months

Reporting to: Executive Director

Summary :

Women’s Crisis Centre was established in 2002 to help communities in Imo state eliminate violence against women. WCC supports community-based women’s groups build their capacity to create and nurture peaceful and safe communities.

WCC is currently implementing an OSIWA funded project to build women and women’s groups resilience to the expected fallout of the COVID19 pandemic.

We are recruiting a Finance Officer to manage our accounting and bookkeeping.

Duties/ Assignments:

*The Finance Officer will:*

  • Ensure all financial transactions are properly documented and authorized in line with financial controls and procedures
  • Create, process, and import General Journal entries
  • Maintain Chart of Accounts
  • Maintain Cash Flow Report and Petty Cash
  • Maintain financial records and systems, including primary responsibility for filing of electronic, paper documents and entry of data into financial systems
  • Enter financial information and maintain all financial records for the project
  • Obtain approvals from the Executive Director and program manager on all procurement’s and purchases for the project
  • Ensure that all financial reports are complete & accurate
  • Support financial audits of the project
  • Process and record financial transactions promptly and accurately including payroll, deposits, online transactions, and other financial transactions
  • Retrieve monthly statements online, and process as needed
  • Maintain financial records and systems, including primary responsibility for filing of electronic, paper documents and entry of data into financial systems
  • Any other finance and administrative duties that maybe assigned



  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Finance, Accounting, Business Administration related fields
  • Minimum of 2 years of professional experience; experience in grants management role, preferred
  • Experience with financial planning, reporting, or analysis preferred

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Proficiency in data management, with intermediate or greater knowledge of Excel
  • Experience using QuickBooks
  • Ability to explain financial matters to non-finance personnel
  • Effective oral and written English communication skills
  • Keen analytical, organizational, and problem-solving skills

To Apply:

Please e-mail your resume and a cover letter to info@womencrisiscenter.ng with the subject line containing title Grants & Finance Officer.

The position will remain open until filled, but applications received before September 15, 2020 are preferred. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered for this position.

Salary:NGN30,000 – NGN50,000 depending on skills & experience

Successful applicants will undergo a test on Excel and Quick Book to assess their proficiency.

The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion

The annual  2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art held on May 06, 2019 in New York City. I’ve been too busy with work stuff to write a post about it then but I sure did take some copious notes of my own.

I have heard the word ‘camp’ used before and I sorta kinda knew what it meant but this was an opportunity to find out more. I mean, all of my favourite magazines had something fascinating to say about it. Vogue, Harpers Bazaar. etc etc etc.

Are you surprised that those are my favourite magazines? I guess you expected me to say National Geographic or The Economist or The Harvard Business Review. I have had my flirtations with those too.

I have evolved. I now read Esquire along with Vogue. And I still read car magazines. I followed Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear religiously for many years. Another day another post maybe.

The Met Gala was a delight.

Having read all Susan Sontag et al had to say about camp here is my take on it. Camp is visual reward, glamour and theatricality. It is extravagant, vulgar and yet unpretentious and innocent. Most of all it is playful or failed seriousness as Susan puts it in her excellent exposition Notes On Camp.

Camp is lively, audacious, dynamic, impertinent and challenging. It is the glorification of character – of a person being one very intense thing. Over the top exaggeration. A daring and witty hedonism. Camp has been associated with queer culture and drag, swish, burlesque, dandyism and pantomime.

And with all that in mind here are who I think are the hits and misses at the show.

The Hits

Judging by the definitions I read Joan Crawford nailed the look with her Cinderella meets Scarlett O’Hara ball gown and excess of feathers and diamonds even though none of the super models who also wore feathers and lots of bling looked camp. Donatella has been doing extra for so long it must be impossible for her to look camp.


Lupita Nyong’o, Ru Paul and Hamish Bowles nailed it perfectly. Lupita took the associations to pantomime and channeled an African Marlene Dietrich. And did you notice the appropriation of Erik culture? Loved it.


Ciara, Janelle Monáe, Katy Perry, and Cara Delevingne managed to look quirky if not quite camp.


French Montana in Dapper Dan Gucci looked like just about any run of the mill Arab. Is that to suggest that they are camp? Oh dear. And I was disappointed in the Hilfiger’s consumes. Someone told me a few days ago that Benedict Cumberbatch has swag. I see what they mean. However, like Anne Wintour he looked too elegant to be camp. Certainly dandy though.



The Misses –

The long trains were boring and cliche. Besides Riri slayed the train with her Chinese inspired Met Gala outfit in 2015. You can’t top that.

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The Kardashian-Jenner clan. Was it that they made no effort to actually find out the theme for the night or is it that they are just camp every day and we have so gotten used to that image their 2019 Met Gala looks did not stand out? Their outfits while stunning and intricate just did not stand out. There was something missing.


Naomi, Gisele, Gywnyth, Donatella, Nicki Minaj, Jlo, didn’t seem like they even tried. Isn’t that what they wear everyday? Where was the theatre, the performance, the fantasy?

I’m still not over the fact that  they did not invite Cher. I mean, she (and Elton John) literally defined celebrity camp in he 70’s and 80s. Now that’s how to do camp.

According to Susan and some contemporary writers camp is naive or uncontrived bad taste. Camp also re-appropriate culture in an ironic way, bringing back things that were once thought tasteless or in bad taste.  Barrie Kosky, an Australian theatre and opera director, said he uses camp to satirise the pretensions, manners and cultural vacuity of Australia’s middle class.

But the Met Gala 2019 award for camp goes to Hamish Bowles and Billy Porter.

More than anybody else they brought to life Susan’s Notes on Camp.



Camp isn’t just extra and playful. Camp is performance. It is the glorification of character according to Sontag and a person being one very intense thing. I now feel able to identify camp. Which is somewhat of a relief. To be able to give a name to all that excess of bad taste one encounters daily especially in Nigeria and Africa.

Chantal Biya the first lady of Cameroon exhibits an abundance of naive over the top  bad taste. So do many other matrons and matriarchs of Africa but we will leave them for another day.


Fela was definitely camp. (I’ll be writing a critique of Fela in October during Felabration.)

So is Charly Boy,


And Bobrisky


Camp is also about breaking gender stereotypes and role playing. According to Susan “What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.” And of course camp has been most closely associated with drag queens but it has roots going way back to Oscar Wilde and dandyism.

My favourite gender bender looks were Harry Stiles in Gucci and Danai Gurira.


But the biggest lesson from the Met Gala Night was my own flirtations with camp and queerness. Melanie Trump pulled the campiest move of the century when she wore THAT coat but I can relate. (The entire Trump family could be the poster children for camp.)

I really don’t care. Do you? 

It’s all a performance and theatre. Be your most intense self. I most certainly intend to do just that.