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Child custody argument heats up Court

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Argument into the child custody case at the Civil Law Court “A” in Monrovia heated up on Monday, 12 July with counter-arguments following Mr. Bility’s request for permanent custody of his two minor children from their mother.

Lawyers representing Green Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Mr. Sidike Musa Bility and his divorced wife, now Warti Nancy Robinson – Clarke, had every heated argument on Monday.

The argument which was rescheduled from last week to Monday, 12 July, was entertained following a request by Bility’s lawyers for the court to award him full and permanent custody of his two minor children since their mother Nancy has a relationship that is not favorable with their emotional, psychological, mental, physical health, stability and well-being, safety and security.

Civil Law Court “A” reserved ruling Monday after the argument in the Bill of Information filed by Bility, as Civil Law Court Judge Yarmie Quiqui Gbeisay noted that final judgment will be done at a later date.  

Earlier during arguments, Mr. Bility’s lawyer, Cllr. Michael Wilkins Wright told the court that arrangements for sharing of custody between the parents were not working in the best interest of the children.

Cllr. Wright, a former ECOWAS Court Judge accused Warti Nancy Robinson – Clarke’s husband, Romeo Clarke, of allegedly being a criminal who was convicted by Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice for stealing from the United Bank of Africa (UBA) – Liberia in a landmark US$1.3 million syndicates.

“You want the children to be in the custody with you and your husband who is a convicted criminal so that he can teach them criminality? That wouldn’t work!” stated Cllr. Wright. 

He argued that the Domestic Relations Law of Liberia provides that when parents of minors live in a state of separation, the father of the children or the husband of that marriage has priority of custody of those children, requesting the court to grant the kids such freedom of being with their dad.

He maintained that the law provides that in all cases involving issues relative to minors, the best interest, general wellbeing, and welfare of the children should always be the foremost concern of the court, stating that his client, Sidike Bility, CEO of Green Petroleum, is capable of such responsibility.

Cllr. Wright explained that from the commencement of the custody sharing arrangement up to the present, Mr. Bility’s former wife has constantly and consistently taken the children to school very late or sometimes not at all, especially every Monday, leading to the school officially writing to the father and raising concerns.

Cllr. Wright said Bility’s ex-wife Madam Warti Robertson Clarke is in the constant habit of leaving the children at home unattended and unsupervised by an adult to the extent that the younger brother put an object in the ears of his older brother, something which led to him seeking medical attention at a health facility.  

The astute lawyer stated that the respondent (Children’s Mother) lives in an abusive relationship that is dangerous for the children, explaining that on a particular night as she and her current husband fought, she drove the kids at 4 a.m. to their father, which suggests she lacks everything of a capable mother to take care of the kids.

He claimed that Madam Clarke does not have the financial capability to take care of the children because she does not have a job or other visible means of income and has never worked in her life.

As such, Cllr. Wright said she will be dependent on Mr. Bility to support his children and her unborn child begotten of another man, maintaining it’s dangerous to entrust the kids in her care.

But lawyers representing Madam Warti Robertson- Clarke counter-argued that the decision for custody of children under the Domestic Relations Law and the question of children’s rights provided for in the Children’s Law and other statutes of Liberia is predicated and tenaciously hinged to the best interest of the children.

“This being the case, respondents vehemently contend that Mr. Bility is morally unfit to perform such parental, moral, and legal and natural duties, and therefore prays your honor to deny his request for permanent custody of the minor children,” the lawyer said.

The lawyers said as the result of the moral unfitness of Mr. Bility, the Judge should grant their client permanent custody for the best interest of the innocent children.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/civil-law-court-adjusts-hearing-of-bilities-child-custody-case/

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