The inability of 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 Temitope Obasanjo (nee Adebutu), is Mr Olujonwo’s estranged wife.
She is a daughter of popular Premier Lotto magnate, Kessington Adebutu, alias “Baba Ijebu”.
During Thursday’s proceedings, counsel to the petitioner, Omo Omofoma, told the court that the court sheriff had made several attempts to serve the 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.
Mrs Omofoma informed the court that the defendant was not resident in Lagos but lived and worked in Ogun.
She said the court sheriff was informed that the defendant occasionally visited the Lagos residence which was given an 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 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.
Mrs Akinlade adjourned the case until September 18, for further mention.
NAN reports that Olujonwo and Temitope wedded in 2017 amidst fanfare which attracted the ‘creme de la creme’ of the society, but the marriage, however, came to a halt a few months later.
Weeks leading to the wedding, Olujonwo’s mother, Taiwo Obasanjo, filed a suit at an Ikeja High Court seeking the postponement of the wedding of her son to Temitope.
According to her, she had received various warnings and prophecies from men of God that her son should not be involved in any elaborate celebration before his 34th birthday, which was June 1, 2017.
Lateefa Okunnu, the judge who presided over the suit, dismissed it on the ground that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear it because Olujonwo, then 33, was an adult.