CHIEF Femi Fani Kayode’s ex-wife,Mrs Yemisi Adeniji-Wada is not going to bandy words with the Kayodes on the controversy raging over the paternity of the three daughters she had for the former Minister of Aviation.
Yemisi insinuated this much when ENCOMIUM Weekly took her on the issue in a phone call on Sunday, August 9, 2015.
Though,we exchanged greetings in the brief phone chat, the daughter of a former Lagos Judge, Justice Adeniji, refused to make any comment on questions bordering on the paternity of the products of her short-lived marriage to the controversial politician popularly called FFK.
“Good morning ma, I’m Uche Olehi, Associate Editor of ENCOMIUM Weekly. We want your reaction to a statement credited to Chief Fani Kayode family, to the effect that they’re not certain of the true paternity of three of your daughters, Temitope, Tobilola and Tuminu, among other serious allegations. Please, reply via ucheolehii@ gmail.com or SMS.
You may also text your email address should we have more questions to ask. It would be appreciated if you could address this issue before we go to press. Thanks,” our unreplied SMS read.
The former spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation and his family had categorically alleged that the three children his ex-wife, Yemisi had for him are not his.
One Mr. Felix Olawunmi, who claimed to be the Fani-Kayode’s family representative for the purpose of this matter, said this in an article in which he narrated the turbulent relationship between his relative and his ex-wife.
The controversial article written in defence of FFK was simply entitled, “Fani-Kayode Takes Good Care of His Children”.
The writer was actually responding to a previous piece, “Temitope Fani-Kayode’s blissful conjugal” allegedly published in THISDAY of Saturday, August 1, 2015, which he noted, contained huge incorrect and misleading information.
“The motive, source and credibility of the information published are highly doubtful. Nigerians are urged to discountenance the disparaging remarks made against Chief Femi Fani-Kayode in the publication. As a member of the Fani-Kayode family and one who has followed closely the life and career of Femi Fani-Kayode for almost 50 years, I believe it is pertinent for me to set the record straight.
HOW FFK’S FIRST MARRIAGE CRUMBLED
“In 1989 or thereabout, Femi got involved with Yemisi Adeniji, the daughter of Justice Adeniji of the Lagos State high court. He had been married previously to his first wife, Saratu Attah, in 1987, and had a child with Saratu whose name is Folake who was born in 1987 but by that time Saratu and Femi had separated.”
FFK/YEMISI ADENIJI’S TURBULENT UNION
“Yemisi and Femi got very close and spent much of the time together and eventually she got pregnant. When she got pregnant, the issue of marriage came up. Femi’s father, the late Chief Remilekun Fani-Kayode, objected to the marriage because he believed that Yemisi was not a stable character and was not a serious minded person. He also had lots of contempt for her background. Femi insisted on going ahead with the marriage simply because Yemisi had said that she was carrying a child and that if he didn’t marry her, she would kill herself and the child inside her,” the Kayode’s family representative further alleged.
It was on that basis that they proceeded and got married.”
LATE FANI KAYODE REJECTED YEMISI
“Femi’s father refused to attend the marriage ceremony and told him that it would not last because he could see through Yemisi. Femi’s mother attended the marriage and Chief Duduyemi who was like a son to Femi’s father came to represent the father. Once the marriage took place and everything was initially okay, they went to the UK to have the child. But throughout the marriage from the beginning to the end, it was turbulent and unpleasant. They had two children Temitope and Tobiloba. Both of them were born abroad.
YEMISI WAS NEVER A RESPONSIBLE WIFE
“Throughout the period, Femi did his best to look after them but Yemisi was always going out and found it difficult to be a responsible and decent wife. By 1993, it got to a point that Femi almost had a nervous breakdown and instead of her standing by him, not only did she desert him, she went out and had extra-marital affairs. Another child was conceived in 1993, the child was born later on in the year and that child’s name is Tumininu. But right from the outset, Femi said that she was not his child. I remember Femi telling me that he never touched Yemisi throughout that year, “yet, she maintained that it was my child.”
“At the end of 1993, Femi went to the Bible Seminary in Ghana. No sooner had he left than she said she would never have anything to do with him again and that was where the marriage completely broke down.”
BITTER FAMILY FEUD CITED
“There was another development that affected the relationship. Yemisi’s father was implicated by the Justice Kayode Esho panel that probed the Nigerian judiciary and the recommendation was that he be kicked out for corruption. Yemisi and her father told everybody that cared to listen that it was Femi’s father that was behind this. Throughout that period and regardless of the fact that they had separated, Femi did his best to send money to Yemisi and school fees and allowances for the children.
PATERNITY OF YEMISI’S LAST CHILD, TUMININU QUESTIONED
“When Femi’s father died in 1995, he came back to Nigeria. The family questioned the paternity especially of the last child, Tumininu, and not only that, they were so disgusted by Yemisi’s behavior and the insults and the things she kept saying about the family that nobody wanted her and her children to attend the burial. That was why their names were not listed among Femi’s father’s grandchildren during the burial notices. They forced themselves on the Christian wake-keeping.
FFK HAS ALWAYS BEEN A CARING FATHER
“After that, and for a number of years, Femi remained in touch. He kept sending her money for the children. He kept doing his best to take care of them. Even when Femi went to Ghana on exile in 1996 and came back again to Nigeria in 2001, throughout that period, he was in touch. He kept sending money to all the three children irrespective of the uncertainty over their paternity. He took care of their school fees; he took care of their needs and gave as much as he possibly could.
REAL REASON HE DIVORCED YEMISI
“By 1995, he formally divorced Yemisi and inside the affidavit of divorce, he wrote there that one of the reasons was because he questioned the paternity of especially the last child. For fear of being exposed about the real paternity of the children, Yemisi offered to settle out of court and the divorce eventually went through and that was the end of it.
FFK MARRIED THIRD WIFE IN 1997
“After that, Femi got married to Regina his third wife in 1997 and moved on with life as she did as well. He had a child from that union by name Remilekun in 1997 and spent most of his time in Ghana but eventually, he came back to Nigeria. Throughout those years, he kept sending money to the three children by Yemisi. He did his very best despite the fact that all through the years, all that Yemisi Adeniji did was to abuse him, insult him and tell lies about his family.
“When in 2001, Femi returned to Nigeria and Yemisi reached him and he saw the children from time to time. He did his best for them throughout that period. Eventually, he got into government and all she ever did was just to demand for money. He did his best for her. He kept on doing the best he could do; he kept on taking care of the children.
YEMISI WORKED AGAINST HIS MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENT
“When Femi was appointed a minister, Yemisi tried her best to scuttle his ministerial clearance in the Senate by telling lies about him all over the place but she failed. After he was confirmed as a minister, she now decided to settle with him and tried to restore a reasonable relationship and she begged for help. Femi assisted her and the three children. He even bought a house for her in London.
“Femi did all these purely out of compassion and not because he owed her anything. Quite apart from that, throughout that period, he was taking care of the fees of the children, by cheque, by transfer, by cash and he was seeing the children regularly. When Femi stopped being minister and EFCC started hounding him, she then started sending abusive text messages and saying he was going to go to jail.
“What caused that hatred was simply the fact that Femi was happily married to somebody else and had moved on with his life. Nevertheless, Femi still interacted with the children for quite some time. Eventually, she poisoned the mind of the children that not even the children themselves ever acknowledged nor ever came to court to support Femi during the case. Femi refused to have anything to do with them from 2012 onwards. From that period, he cut himself off completely and Yemisi’s desperation got more. Yemisi was granting series of interviews, denigrating him, running him down and saying he had done nothing for the children.
FFK READ TEMITOPE’S WEDDING ON THE INTERNET
“A few weeks back, Femi read on the internet that one of the children was getting married. Once he read that, he reached out to the Randle family saying that “if you are getting married to anybody that bears the name Fani-Kayode, we should know about it,” but he said Yemisi objected to Femi’s family having anything to do with the marriage and that if he wanted to have anything to do with the marriage, he should try and settle everything between them first. So, Femi’s family members met with the Randles and with Yemisi’s mother.
THE KAYODE FAMILY INSISTED ON PATERNITY TEST BEFORE PARTICIPATING IN TEMITOPE’S WEDDING RITES
“Femi’s family asked uncles like Chief Alex Duduyemi to intervene because they would not participate in this wedding unless one condition was satisfied and that condition was this, that all the three children have a paternity test. Despite Femi’s pleas that his family should try and overlook that, they said no way.
“So when they said they would not go for the paternity test, Femi’s family said they would not have anything to do with the wedding. The family has it on good authority that the July 5th day set for the wedding was in the hope that Femi would have been jailed by then and that his being jailed would also be celebrated at the wedding. The Randle family didn’t reach out to Femi’s family, and in Yoruba tradition. All Femi’s family asked for was a paternity test which they refused to do. Once it was clear that all the discussions did not bear any fruit, the family as led by the head of the Fani-Kayodes now took a decision that a few days before the marriage, they would take a full page advert and also announce on television that the girl was not their daughter and that she has nothing to do with the family.
“But at the last minute, Femi intervened and appealed to all the elders to just ignore them and leave them. They had the first ceremony, they had the second ceremony, they had the third ceremony, not one of Femi’s family members attended. The only one that attended was Femi’s first daughter, Folake, and she did that with his understanding.
ALL THE LIES AGAINST FFK
“The talk that Femi didn’t do anything for the children is all rubbish. He did plenty for the children. They said that he was beating Yemisi while pregnant. It is all lies. If he was beating her, why did she stay to purportedly have two more children? Why should anybody be concerned about things that happened in a marriage that finished almost thirty or twenty five years ago? Femi has moved on. He has a very good relationship with the mother of Folake. He has a good relationship with Folake. He has a very good relationship with the mother of Remilekun. He has a good relationship with Remilekun, his youngest daughter.
“It is only Yemisi that he does not have a good relationship with because she’s full of bitterness and hatred and envy. There is no way he would have a good relationship with her children because they have no respect for him, they have never honoured him; they wanted him to go to jail. The only recognition they have before high society is the fact that she is Femi Fani-Kayode’s ex-wife. The only reason why people recognise Yemisi’s girls is because Fani-Kayode is attached to them.
WE DON’T RECOGNIZE YEMISI’S DAUGHTERS
“As far as we are concerned in the Fani-Kayode family, Femi has two children, Folake and Remilekun. The family does not recognize those other three. We don’t wish them ill; we have no hatred for them. They are not just part of us. So, nobody should be surprised that we didn’t go to the wedding. And there is no question of reconciling with supposed daughters that have no respect for their father, that have no love for their father and have done nothing but run their father down everywhere.
“In fact, there was a time Femi begged them to change their name from Fani-Kayode because in our culture, what they are doing is shameful. You do not side with one parent against the other, and you do not expect a man, a father, to take rubbish from a child. Their mother is so embittered, so full of hate and malice. They have chosen to go that way and we have chosen to ignore them and not to go on a war path with them or start talking about them because we have class and they do not.
“So, Femi does not hate his children. He is just indifferent to the ones borne by Yemisi. He has no fatherly feeling for those children except for Folake and Remilekun. The lies that he is an absentee father that never takes care of his children could only have come out from a hateful, venomous and malicious heart. Anyone can ask Folake’s mother, anyone can ask Remilekun’s mother, Femi takes good care of his children.”
FEMI FANI-KAYODE DISOWNS FAMILY REP?
– INSISTS HE DIDN’T DISOWN HIS DAUGHTERS
Another twist to the Kayodes’ paternity saga, however, emerged Sunday, August 9, 2015, when Femi Fani-Kayode (Olufemi Olu-Kayode) took to his Facebook account to shed the light both on the initial publication, “Temitope Fani-Kayode’s Blissful Conjugal” and the following piece suggesting he has allegedly disowned Yemisi’s daughters.
“I have not disowned any of my children. The essay in question was not written by me. No matter what, I don’t write essays about my family. Those that wish to know what was written, why it was written and who wrote it should read the original version of the essay in Thisday newspaper.”
Curiously, the original Thisday publication entitled, “Temitope Fani-Kayode’s Blissful Conjugal” could no longer be accessed on the internet.
The Kayodes and Mrs. Yemisi Wada have been in the news since their daughter, Temitope’s traditional wedding to Jaiye Randle on Sunday, July 5, 2015.
Temitope’s dad, a former Minister of Aviation was conspicuously absent at the marriage ceremonies attended by who- is- who in Lagos and beyond including, former Lagos state Governor,Babatunde Raji Fashola and wife, Forbes Billionaire, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Chief (Mrs.) Nike Akande, Chief (Mrs.) Oprah Benson, Mrs. Ajoke Murtala Muhammed, among many others.
The traditional marriage between the families of Bashorun Jaiye Kofolaran Randle, Fani-Kayode and Mrs. Oluyemisi Wada was held at the Imperial-Coliseum, Providence Road, Lekki, Phase 1, Lagos.
FFK also shunned his daughter’s white wedding in the UK on Saturday, August 1, 2015.
Messier issues, bordering on paternity of Temitope and her two other sisters (Tobilola and Tumininu), are now tearing the estranged families apart.
And while, the Kayodes have spoken, Yemisi Wada has maintained sealed lips.
We repeatedly called Femi Fani-Kayode, and he never responded. We called him at 18.11pm, 20.24pm on Sunday, August 9, 2015 and 11.30am on Monday August 10, 2015. We also sent SMS to his phone on Sunday, August 9, 2015.
– Stories by UCHE OLEHI