Obasanjo’s divorce suit: Inability to serve petition to estranged wife stalls proceedings

A gavel and sound block used by judges
A gavel and sound block used by judges in court

The inability of Mr Olujonwo Obasanjo, son of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to serve his estranged wife a copy of their divorce petition has stalled the proceedings at an Ikeja High Court in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mrs Temitope Obasanjo (nee Adebutu), is Olujonwo’s estranged wife and daughter of popular Premier Lotto magnate, Sir Kessington Adebutu, alias “Baba Ijebu”.

During Thursday’s proceedings, counsel to the petitioner, Ms Omo Omofoma, told the court that the court sheriff had made several attempts to serve defendant to no avail.

“It is quite unfortunate that we have yet to serve the respondent (Temitope).

“My lord, the sheriff of this honourable court has made several attempts to serve the respondent the petition without success.

“I have with me, a motion ex parte for substituted service dated May 18, 2019,” she said.

Omofoma informed the court that defendant was not resident in Lagos but lived and worked in Ogun.

She said that the court sheriff was informed that the defendant occasionally visited the Lagos residence which was given as address for service by the petitioner.

The counsel noted that Olujonwo was not aware of any alternative address to serve the court documents to his estranged wife.

Responding to the submission, Justice Adebisi Akinlade said that the petitioner could not claim to be unaware of how and where his wife could be contacted by the court.

“Olujonwo cannot tell me that he does not know where she stays; they courted for some time, they had a highly publicised wedding which was viewed nationally and internationally.

“They have separated since 2017 till date and by June next month it will be two-years since they separated which is longer than the actual marriage.

“The parties can narrow down their issues and part amicably and prevent the press from feeding on this case. Let them go their separate ways without generating unnecessary publicity,” she said.

The judge further noted that other means of service like an alternative address and courier service should be explored by the petitioner.

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