Atiku’s son renews battle for children’s custody

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Aminu Atiku, son of former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, yesterday asked a Lagos High Court in Igbosere to upturn a Magistrates’ Court decision awarding custody of his two children to his ex-wife, Unmi Fatima Bolori.

Aminu told Justice Kazeem Alogba that the lower court disregarded his right to fair hearing before granting judgment in Bolori’s favour.

Neither he nor Bolori was in court.

On January 10, Chief Magistrate Kikelomo Ayeye, of the Tinubu Magistrates’ Court, granted Bolori full custody of the ex-couple’s daughter, Ameera (11) and son, Aamir (7).

The court held that Aminu failed to file a response to Bolori’s application for child custody.

But Aminu, through his counsel, Oyinkan Badejo, filed two applications – one seeking leave to appeal the lower court’s judgment and the other for a stay of further execution of its terms.

The first application, a motion on notice of January 31, was pursuant to Section 70 of the Magistrates’ Court Law 2009, and supported by a 16-paragraph application.

Badejo said: “In response to whether the applicant has shown sufficient ground for the grant of the application, there is not more sufficient ground than the party’s right to fair hearing.

“We arrived at the Magistrates’ Court at 12.30 pm, believing the matter was for mention at 1pm.”

She contended that the lower court erred by hearing and granting Bolori’s application for custody on a date the suit was fixed for mention.

In the February 20 application, Badejo urged the court to vary conditions attached to the custody order.

According to the lower court’s order, Aminu is to pay Bolori N250,000 monthly for the upkeep of the children, beginning January 2018.

Chief Magistrate Ayeye also ordered Aminu to carry out medical insurance on each child, among others.

But Badejo said: “We are not seeking a stay of the execution of the judgment. But some of the terms were onerous. We were asked to pay N250,000 for the upkeep of two young children, medical allowances, etc. We find that rather onerous.”

Bolori’s counsel, O. N. Olabisi and Ethel Okoh opposed her, citing, among others, the interest of the children.

But in Justice Alogba granted Aminu leave to appeal.

The judge adjourned further hearing till May 17 and June 14.

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