A FATHER’S PAIN:
We all rose to our feet, sitting down only after the judge had taken his seat.seat. All the lawyers in the room bowed lightly to the judge before taking their seats once more.
I sat down calmly in-between my lawyer and his partner, K.A. Ofori . None of my relatives or friends were in court with me to give me moral support because only my house-help, Efe, and my driver, knew about the case. I had kept everybody in the dark. My colleague doctors also knew about the case but did not know we were in court litigating over my fatherhood of my children.
Two cases were called and dealt with. The first case was a theft case involving an old man who was arrested for stealing food somebody had bought. He pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing. The judge, one could see, felt sorry for the old man. He warned him not to steal again even if he was hungry. Then he discharged him, warning him that the next time he is brought before him, he would deal drastically with him.
The second case was an armed robbery case. Three armed robbers, with their police escorts were taken to the dock and then the handcuffs removed from their hands. They had already pleaded guilty to various charges and had been brought to receive their sentences. The judge described them as the scums of life and then jailed each of them 25 years in hard labour. Then my case was called.My estranged wife and I got up. The registrar got up to tell the judge that the DNA test had been conducted.
“The envelope I have in my hand contains the result. The envelope was sealed in the presence of the two people here, I mean Dr. OforiMensah and Mrs. Nora Ofori- Mensah Both of them signed on the seal. Their respective lawyers signed as their witnesses. Now, I will give each of them the envelope to check if the seal had been broken or not” the Registrar said.
He gave me the envelope. I checked the seal. Everything showed the seal had not been opened. Nora, my lawyer and then Nora’s lawyer all took turns to check the seal. With all of us satisfied, the judge ordered the envelope to be opened and the contents read to the hearing of everybody.
The Registrar complied. He began to open the seal. I was calm, confident that I was going to be vindicated. I looked over at Nora. She too looked calm, and in fact confident. The Registrar finished opening the envelope and pulled out a piece of paper in it. The judge asked him to read the content.
The court room was dead quiet. The Registrar began to read. The sum totality of what he read simply meant that the DNA test had proven that I was not the biological father of my children. Or, perhaps, I did not hear the Registrar well. I looked over at where my estranged wife sat; beaming with a smile, she was hugging my son. She looked victorious and this meant I had heard the Registrar well. She turned to hug her brother who was sitting behind her.
“What did the DNA result say?” I asked my lawyer, who putting a hand on my shoulder said all was well so I should take it like a man. “Take what like a man? You mean the result showed that Peter and Pamela are not my children?” I asked, the tone of my voice rising.
“Please calm down and lower your voice or the judge will be angry with you. The judge is about to speak. Let us listen to him first” my lawyer pleaded with me.
I could hear the sound of my heart as it beat violently in its place of abode in my chest. I could see my wife jubilating. The judge began to speak.
“…the result is conclusive that Dr. Ofori-Mensah is not the biological father of Peter and Pamela. The wish of Madam Nora that Dr. Ofori-Mensah should not come anywhere near the two children must therefore be respected” he said in part.
………..to be continued……………