Yesterday, former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, retd; 81, finally accepted being the father Musa Gowon, a love child with the late public relations expert, Princess Edith Ike Okongwu, thereby bringing to an end the 48-year-old paternity dispute.
Musa, who returned to Nigeria late last year, after about 23 years in a US prison, was acknowledged by Gen. Gowon upon the report of a conclusive DNA test. The paternity dispute was the subject of a legal action that reached the Supreme Court in Nigeria, which Okongwu won.
However, execution of the judgment was thwarted by the arrest of Musa by U.S law enforcement officials in Dallas on the charge of importing heroin into that country. Musa was sentenced to 27 years in prison and was released in November, 2015, on compassionate ground and good behaviour.
In 2003, he lost his mother. In acknowledging Musa as his son in a statement issued yesterday, Gen. Gowon, said:
“Following years of doubts and speculation, a DNA test was recently conducted to ascertain the paternity of Musa Gowon, who recently returned to the country.
The results of the tests were conclusive, and they confirm his paternity. We, the family, are working to assist in his rehabilitation following a very difficult period in his life. As we look forward to the future with faith in God, we request that our privacy be respected.”