In a short statement issued to the press by former military head of state, General Yakubu Gowon, he put an end to a 48-year-old paternity dispute between his former and late lover, Princess Edith Ike Okongwu and himself over their son, Musa Gowon.
Musa Gowon was born out-of-wedlock 48 years ago and had been the subject of a bitter dispute between Okongwu, a Nigerian socialite and public relations expert and the former war-time general.
“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,” Gowon said in the statement issued on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. ”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.”
Mr. Gowon, recently returned to Nigeria after serving a 23-year prison sentence in the United States of America. His paternity was the subject of a bitter legal battle between his late mother and his father. The matter dragged on for years through the Nigerian legal system reaching the Supreme Court where Okongwu won.
But before the execution of the judgement could be effected, Mr. Gowon was arrested in Dallas, Texas for heroin trafficking and sentenced to 27 years in a US prison. He served 23 years and was released in November 2015 on “compassionate grounds and for good behaviour”. He reportedly pursued graduate school from prison and was of exemplary behaviour.
Okongwu and the former head of state had an affair in the 60s. But Gowon went on to marry Victoria Zakari, a nurse in 1969. Musa Gowon lost his mother in 2003 during his incarceration. She was a one-time public relations manager of Guinness Nigeria Plc
”As we look forward to the future with faith in God, we request that our privacy be respected,” Gowon requested in his statement.