Sunday, July 21, 2024

Davido not always available for daughter, Sophia Momodu tells court

Momodu said she has been providing the best care for her daughter in spite of her father’s negligence.

• July 5, 2024
Sophia Momodu and Davido
Sophia Momodu and Davido

Sophia Momodu, mother of David Adeleke’s daughter, has told a Lagos State High Court sitting in Sabo, Yaba, not to grant  the child’s custody to the musician.

Momodu told the court on Friday that the  applicant was not fit to be granted custody of their daughter because he is always not available and does not possess the ability to dutifully care for her.

She stated this in a counter-affidavit she filed in opposition to Davido’s suit seeking custody.

Contrary to Davido’s claim that he had consistently fulfilled his financial obligations toward his daughter, Momodu told the court that the child was almost sent away from school  because the artiste refused to pay her tuition fees.

According to her, while their relationship lasted, Davido never showed true commitment or love toward their daughter.

“He always used the condition of my making myself available for his sexual pleasures,  as a pre-condition to visit our daughter or show some fatherly love to her.

“The applicant apart from his cravings for sex only comes around to spend time with our daughter when he wants to use our daughter for his media stunts or promotions.

“The applicant has always been known to go away and stop communicating with our daughter, to stop making payment for school fees and/or payment of maintenance for our daughter, whenever I refused his sexual advances,” she  stated.

The respondent stated that Davido once threw her and their daughter out of his home in Atlanta, US during a summer holiday in 2017 and they ended up squatting with a friend.

Momodu stated that she never denied Davido access to his daughter and that it was he, who chose to be “an absentee father.”

She added she had been responsible for her accommodation and that the artiste  had always had access to their daughter until he chose to abuse it by visiting at odd hours to demand sex.

“When I noticed that the intention of the applicant for coming late at night to my house was not to visit our daughter, but to seek sexual favours, even after our relationship had ended, I told him to desist from such late-night visits, as our daughter who needed to be in school in the morning would have slept at the time of his late-night visits.

“It was when I refused the applicant’s ingress into my house at ungodly hours of the night on the pretext of visiting our daughter that he decided to stop visiting or calling our daughter and this has been the pattern with the applicant all through his relationship with our daughter.

“Whenever I refused to be his sex slave, he would stop caring for his daughter and abandon her and use the fact of our daughter’s sadness due to his absence to force me to accede to his unwholesome demands.

“I have never stopped the applicant or his family members from coming to visit his daughter, calling or reconnecting with our daughter,” she stated.

The respondent again stated that contrary to Davido’s claim, he has not been faithful in paying their daughter’s school fees, having defaulted in 2021 and 2022 with the school writing to her in January 2023, over unpaid tuition.

“The school wrote via email notifying me that our daughter will not be allowed entry into the school, except all outstanding fees from 2021 to 2023 were paid off,” she said.

Momodu told the court that it was Davido’s father who intervened and paid the school fees.

She stated that contrary to Davido’s claim, she has been the one paying the rent of the apartment where she lives with her daughter, adding that Davido did not buy any house for them.

Momodu said she has been providing the best care for her daughter, in spite of her father’s negligence and will continue to do so, as a loving mother.

The respondent was represented at Friday’s proceedings before Justice A. J. Bashua, by a legal team led by Dr Anthony Idigbe (SAN) of Punuka Attorneys & Solicitors.

Mr Idigbe drew attention to the publication of a hearing notice in a national newspaper by Davido’s legal team, in which the name of his daughter was mentioned four times.

The judge agreed with MrIdigbe that while the press were free to report, the child’s name ought not to be mentioned at all.

The judge then asked members of the press, litigants and all other counsel not involved in the case, to leave the courtroom during the hearing.

Before they left, Chief Idigbe, with the court’s permission, drew the attention of members of the press to Section 143 of the Child’s Right Law of Lagos State 2015.

It provides that in a case involving a minor: “No person must be allowed to attend court, other than the members and officers of the court and the parties to the case.

It also provides that their solicitors and counsel, parents and guardians of the child and other persons directly concerned in the case were free to be allowed in.”

Mr Idigbe also referred to Section 144 of the Law, which prohibits the publication of a child’s name.

The section reads: “No person must publish the name, address, school, photograph, or anything likely to lead to the identification of a child in a matter before the court, except as required by the provisions of this law.”

The SAN further referred to Section 145 of the Child Rights Law, which provides: “The proceedings in the court must be conducive to the best interest of the child and must be conducted in an atmosphere of understanding, allowing the child to express himself and participate in the proceedings.”

Momodu, in the counter-affidavit, also faulted the publication of the suit in a national newspaper.

“The applicant (Davido) in publishing this suit in a national newspaper has exposed our daughter to great danger.

“I would have to implement extra security measures to ensure the continued safety of our daughter in school,” she stated.

At the end of the proceedings, it was learnt that the court referred the case for possible settlement by the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the court during Settlement Week.


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