The Canadian Courts of Justice have ordered Olubukola Ajayi’s to return three children in her custody to their father in Nigeria and consequently dismissed her case of domestic violence and threat to her life.
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In a statement sent to Legit.ng, it was discovered that Bukola, born to Engineer Tunde Ipaye and a senior Lagos state judge, Oluwatoyin Ipaye, was said to have in November 2021, absconded the country with the three children.
She was said to have sought the court’s intervention in a case of illegally withdrawing the children from their habitual residence.
The court, however, said it could not find merits in her case, thereby dismissing it.
According to the report, Olubukola, the applicant, had married Eyitope Ajayi, the respondent, in Nigeria in 2006 and the union produced three children.
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The relationship, the report said, had gone on well until 2021 when the wife told her husband about her new identity of belonging to a society of le.sbian, gay, bi.sexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQA+).
This was a few days after her return from Canada where she had gone to give birth to their third baby, telling her hubby of her intention to separate from him.
It was said that unknown to her husband, she had perfected plans to relocate with the children to Canada, saying that a few days after, she absconded with the children and the search for her began.
The statement read:
“It was first a case of missing persons, which was registered at least at three police stations in Nigeria. Her parents were also contacted but they denied knowledge of her whereabouts, though it was reported by one of the domestic staff at the police stations that her mother’s driver, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, had brought documents in an envelope prior to her abscondment.
“Mr. Ajayi made frantic efforts to locate her to no avail. He later received a terse mail from his estranged wife to the effect that she was done with the marriage. At this point, the husband realized that she had absconded to Canada. Consequently, Mr. Ajayi had no option but to institute a divorce proceeding in Nigeria.
“Upon Ms. Ajayi arrival in Canada, she instituted a court case seeking custody of the three children, alleging deliberate denial of access to them, a threat to her life and that of the children if the court ordered their return to Nigeria. Ms. Ajayi also alleged domestic violence against her husband.
“But while the case lasted, it was discovered that the daughter of Justice Ipaye had long ago registered the three children as fatherless at different times of their births. This came to the fore following the sighting of their birth certificates in a Canadian court.
“On the allegation of denying her access to the children, the court noted multiple unanswered emails from Mr. Ajayi to Mrs. Ajayi even after the disappearance of the children and said those emails confirmed that Mr. Ajayi expressed his intention to dissolve their marriage while he and his estranged wife remain involved in the lives of the children.”
In its judgement, the court said Ajayi wants his estranged wife to have as much parenting time with the children as their best interest warrants
The court also discountenanced Ms. Ajayi’s claim of threat by the paternal grandfather, whom she accused threatened her at a meeting on November 18, 2021, adding that made her to abscond with the children.
The court said:
“Ms. Ajayi bought tickets to Canada for her and the three children on November 17, 2021. Indeed, she had already deposited luggage with her friend, Ms. Nengi Adoki, prior to November 18, 2021. She knew she was going to leave Nigeria with the children prior to her discussion with Mr. Ajayi’s parents; she just didn’t know exactly what day.
On the allegation of threat to her, if she returns to Nigeria, the court said:
“Ms. Ajayi was born in Nigeria, has dual Canadian and Nigerian citizenship and there is no legal impediment to her returning to and staying in Nigeria with the children.
“Indeed, Ms. Ajayi is a privileged member of Nigerian society; she is well educated, has substantial means, and an influential family. Not only is there no legal impediment to returning, but she is also well situated to do so.
“The Judge also said the allegation of financial abuse against Ajayi could not be established. It was hard to ascertain in what manner Ms. Ajayi thought she was financially abused. Ms. Ajayi was employed in Nigeria and had access to her own money and had access to Mr. Ajayi’s income when needed. Additionally, the parties had multiple staff to run the house and care for the children.”
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Justice Engelking also ruled that the children were not at risk of harm to their father, noting that Ms. Ajayi had left the two older children in their father’s care for an extended period when she came to Canada to give birth.
As for the father’s family’s influence, Justice Engelking pointed out that Ms. Ajayi’s mother is a superior court judge in Nigeria.
Debunking her claim that she was the sole caregiver of the children, the court said:
“While I am, in the first place, not convinced that Ms. Ajayi was the children’s sole primary caregiver prior to her departure for Canada in November, the other difficulty with Ms. Ajayi’s argument in this regard is that Mr. Ajayi has not sought to remove her from the lives of the children unlike in other wrongful removal cases. There is no evidence in this case that the children have generally been either exposed to or the subjects of domestic violence.”
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that barely 48 hours after a daughter of the former deputy Senate president in Nigeria made an appeal to the public for a kidney donation, a Nigerian-born lawyer based in the United Kingdom appealed on behalf of the lawmaker.
It was reported that the lawyer said that there might be a political undertone to the challenges faced by Ekweremadu and his family.
The lawyer alleged that Ekweremadu who is currently in a UK jail is not doing well in terms of his health condition and is being treated harshly.