Dele Momodu Opens Up On Davido’s Child Custody Battle With Sophia

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Dele Momodu, the Publisher of Ovation magazine, has spoken up and shared his view on the custody battle between his niece, Sophia Momodu, and the father of her child, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido.

In a series of posts via his verified X handle on Saturday, Momodu said he was surprised that the Afrobeat singer filed an affidavit seeking joint custody of their child, stressing that his previous conversations with him only focused on his wedding and reconnecting with his daughter.

He said Davido and his family have always had access to the child, and when he stopped paying her school fees, he brought it to his father’s notice, Deji Adeleke, who cleared all the school fees and gave the child a car.

Momodu wrote, “My candid opinion on David Adeleke vs Sophia Momodu

“Last night, I received a distressing message from Mr David Adeleke (aka Davido). He was obviously devastated by the counter-affidavit submitted in court, earlier in the day, in response to his affidavit seeking a joint custody of his daughter with my niece Sophia Momodu.

“I had seen David’s affidavit about two weeks ago, and I was very surprised as David, and I had spoken on a video call days earlier, with him and Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, and he never told me he had any custody issues with my niece. So you can imagine my confusion to find out via social media and subsequently confirmed by my niece that he had filed an action in court seeking joint custody of their daughter.

“During the referenced video call, we were all very excited about his forthcoming wedding ceremony, an event our family congratulated him on. Prior to this, David had told me he eventually spoke to their daughter, after a long lull of about two years.

“He was very happy and excited. So I thought everything was settled, and he and Sophia would now have the opportunity to take maximum care of their daughter. I offered special thanks to David’s Dad, Dr Adedeji Adeleke, for his kindness and support for our daughter during the period of David’s absence.

“I had also taken Sophia and their daughter to my very dear friend, Governor Ademola Adeleke, seeking his intervention. To the best of my knowledge, there was never a problem of joint custody.”

The Peoples Democratic Party chieftain disclosed that the problems between his niece and Davido were mainly about financial support, including school fees, accommodation and a nanny’s salary.

He noted that the real issue was the payment of accommodation, which Sophia suggested that Davido should pay half while she also paid half of the rent.

Momodu revealed that the Afrobeat singer rejected the offer and said he would only be paying N5 million per annum, which was not up to her demand.

He wrote, “The issues were: non-payment of school fees for several sessions; non-payment of accommodation and salaries of a nanny. There was no car dedicated to David’s daughter. And so on. Mercifully, I mentioned all to Dr Adedeji Adeleke and he responded positively, like a true grandfather.

“On the issue of non-payment of school fees, David’s Dad cleared everything and also set up payments of future bills. He gave his granddaughter a car to take her to school. The remaining issue was accommodation.

“David’s Dad verbally offered, in his discussions with me, one of their family apartments in Oniru Estate, Victoria Island, however, maybe due to miscommunication, David’s lawyers had communicated otherwise. After Sophia clarified with me, she politely declined the offer, and her reason was tenable in my view, because, since she’s not married to David, she can’t be comfortable living in a place swarming with David’s family members.

“She and her daughter had been living in Ikoyi before David and Sophia started their latest quarrels. Sophia’s request was that David should pay half of the accommodation while she would pay the other half. David said he could only contribute N5million annually.”

The veteran journalist asserted that Sophia allowed Davido access to their daughter, provided she had her nanny around, adding that Imade also made the same request.

Momodu said his niece did not institute the custody battle, adding that the lack of communication and friendship between Davido and Sophia has led to the present situation.

He said, “My opinion is that the absence of camaraderie between David and Sophia has caused this debacle. I have cautioned repeatedly that their daughter must not be allowed to suffer or be treated like a second-class child. David’s global status makes this imperative.

“Sophia allowed David access to their daughter, provided she has her nanny around 24/7. The 9-year-old herself made this request and I believe this should be favourably considered and accepted. My grand-niece had been released to go out with her cousins on several occasions.

“The Governor’s daughter, Nike, was at Sophia’s house with the Governor’s grandson last Christmas Day, despite the fact that there wasn’t ample notice & she was still granted access.

“Two months ago, the Governor’s son, Sina Rambo, requested a play date between the kids & Sophia rented out a children’s place in Victoria Island for them to spend hours together. The only time she couldn’t join her father’s family was when her grandfather requested to go on vacation with her for three weeks last year, as the notice was too short, and Sophia had already paid for their own trips, due to a lack of communication between the parents.”

Momodu, therefore, urged both parties to prioritise their daughter’s well-being and compromise on custody and financial responsibilities and urged them to avoid rhetorics in the media.

He added, “The court yesterday referred the case for possible settlement by the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) section of the court during Settlement Week, and I strongly advise that David (and Sophia) engage truly with the process as opposed to making harmful and irreversible statements on social media which not only violate the law but the interest of their child. I have, in the past 9 years, tried my best to ensure amicable resolution of disputes and encouraged both parents to have a proper structure put in place for the welfare of their daughter.

“It is important to note that Sophia did not instigate this court action and is only seeking to protect their daughter and ensure that there is a structured, safe and sustainable manner in which father and child can engage with each other.

“The vitriolic rhetoric in the media should be avoided by all means, as this only further inflames what is already a traumatic experience for all parties involved, especially the child in question.”

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