The continued stay of a six-year-old Nigerian boy, Monisola Muiz Bakre, in the United Kingdom (UK) has become a source of dispute between his parents and the British government.
The boy’s father, Mr Ayokuleyin Bakre, is accusing the UK government of “illegal and forceful adoption” of his son.
The UK authorities are taking over the child’s care in pursuance of a London court’s ruling, which empowered the London Borough of Bexley to take custody of the boy.
Nigerian-born Monisola was taken into the British government’s custody in 2013, following multiple injuries he sustained in a domestic accident at his aunt’s residence in London when he was a year old. The London Metropolitan Police accused his mother of causing him “non-accidental injury” after a medical examination was carried out at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in London.
The UK authorities took custody of the boy in July 2012 after a Bromley County Court ruled that he was “at the risk of significant harm” for his mother’s failure to notice injuries in his head after the accident.
The inability of his parents to have unrestricted access to him in the past five years is destabilising the Bakre family, with the troubled father telling his wife, Folashade, not to return to Nigeria without their son.
In its September 15, 2015 judgment on Case Number BR15Z00878 filed by the London Borough of Bexley, the London Family Court at Bromley ordered that the applicant “is authorised to place the child for adoption with any prospective adopters who may be chosen by the authority”.
Bakre rejected the judgment, saying the UK government does not have legal and moral rights to take full custody of his son. Monisola, the father said, was born in Nigeria and does not have dual citizenship.
In his petition titled: Illegal attempt to consider Monisola Muiz Bakre for adoption by the Government of United Kingdom, addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Bakre said the British government had denied him the rights to administer paternal care on his child. He said the UK authorities barred him from seeing his child by denying him visa, noting that the last time he physically saw his son was when he was one-year-old.
Just after his first birthday, Monisola was taken to London by his mother on May 27, 2012 on a visit to his paternal aunt, Mrs Angel Bakre.