Following the recent surge in cases of paternity fraud, Mr Abiodun Salami, a senior geneticist who works with DNA Centre for Paternity Test, in Ikeja, Lagos has said at least six out of 10 Nigerian men who apply for DNA test are not the biological fathers of their children.
Over the past few months several paternity fraud stories have made the round. Genetic discrepancies stories have been flying around as men who presumed they’re the father of a child or children born within wedlock often find out otherwise.
The New Diplomat recalls the paternity scandal involving Moyo Thomas and late Tunde Thomas, who were couples and Adam Nuru who was the Managing Director (MD) of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
It was reported that Moyo allegedly had an extramarital affairs with Nuru, which later produced the two children that Tunde thought were his biological children.
Also, Honorable Justice Anthony Ezonfade Okorodas, a Judge at the Delta State High Court had accused his former wife, Celia, of birthing three children that are not his biological children.
The medical expert explained that DNA is mainly done for two purposes – immigration and infidelity in marriage.
According to him, cases of DNA test in his clinic conducted per month has shot up to 400 cases from an initial 100 cases. While noting that some men often conduct the DNA test for immigration, Salami added that men are beginning to supply samples for the test to verify the real status of their children.
He added that statistics has shown that most firstborns are not fathered by their biological father. According to him, most women have two or more relationships before getting married, hence the reason many firstborns in a wedlock are not fathered by their biological fathers.
In his words, “Well, there are several reasons. The first reason is immigration purposes because when you are travelling abroad, you will be required to carry out a DNA test on the kids who would be accompanying you, especially if you say you are the parent. The second reason could be child trafficking. At the airport, if you are a woman and you are traveling with a child less than six months, you will be asked to go for a maternity test to confirm if you are the mother of the child.
“We do maternity testing to ascertain the mother of a child. The third reason is a major reason – infidelity in marriage. There are so many issues online, I mean, we have read and seen cases of fathers raising children that don’t belong to them. It has always been like that, sincerely, but because of social media, people can now share and we know what is happening. People are getting to know that they can actually do DNA testing to know the father of the child, instead of raising a child for more than five, six years only to discover he is not your own.
“Let me give you the statistics. Before now, we do an average of 100 DNA tests in a month, but now we handle as many as 400 cases monthly.
“The statistics are mind-blowing. You discover that almost 60 percent of the tests that people come to do are negative. In fact, 6 out of every 10 paternity tests turn out negative. Statistically, in DNA paternity testing, most times, in Nigeria, we see that six out of every 10 children might not be fathered by their biological father.
“Most female undergraduates now have one man or the other sponsoring their education aside from their father. These are the men that will eventually be the chairmen at their wedding. These are the men they are actually sleeping with. From experience in DNA testings, most firstborns are not fathered by the husbands at home, because these people have a prior relationship before getting married. Most times, they continue with that relationship, they don’t leave it after marriage,” he added.