Courtroom grants Bility everlasting custody of kids

By Winston W. Parley

The civil court “A” in Monrovia has granted Mr. Sidike Musa Bility permanent custody of his two underage children, provided that they will spend the first and third weekends of each month and all public holidays with their mother, Warti Nancy Robinson – Clarke, Bility’s divorced wife.

Judge Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay, Sr., ruled on Wednesday July 14th at the Temple of Justice that the mother should monitor the moral conduct, social behavior, and interaction of the father with the children and when there is sufficient evidence of immorality or violence present, she must submit information for review of his decision by the court.

“That the custody of the two children is hereby permanently in the possession of Mr. Sidike Bility, the biological father,” said Judge Gbeisay in the decision and added that the custody of the children will not be transferred to third parties, including the grandparents .

In addition, Judge Gbeisay ruled that since Mr. Bility is a Muslim and his divorced wife, Ms. Clarke, is Christian, the children are allowed to pray in the church and mosque until they are adults and choose their own religion.

Citing some of the factors that were taken into account in its decision, the court revealed that Ms. Clarke is carrying a pregnancy “must have conceived while she was still married to Mr. Sidike Bility,” and the court found that such action was taken can develop bad blood between Mr. Bility and Mrs. Clarke’s new husband, Mr. Romeo Clarke.

Judge Gbeisay said such actions have the potential to transmit Mr. Clarke’s aggression to the children.

Additionally, Judge Gbeisay pointed out that the biological father of the two children, Mr. Bility, who serves as Green Petroleum’s chief executive officer, has a better income compared to the mother.

Based on these factors, the judge decided that the best interests and welfare of the children, who are of paramount importance to the court, were likely best found in the care of their father.

He therefore granted Mr. Bility’s Bill of Information in opposition to Mrs. Clarke’s opposition. But Ms. Clarke’s lawyers have spoken out against the court’s ruling and announced an appeal to the Liberia Supreme Court.

The child custody dispute took place in Monrovia Civil Court “A” on Monday, July 12th, after Mr Bility requested that their mother take care of his two underage children on a permanent basis.

He had complained to the court that the mother of his two underage children, Mrs. Clarke, had a relationship that was not conducive to their emotional, psychological, mental, physical health, stability and well-being, safety and security.

His lawyer Cllr. Michael Wilkins Wright, a former ECOWAS court judge, has argued that parental custody does not work in the children’s best interests.

Kllr. Wright also accused Warti Nancy Robinson – Clarke’s husband Romeo Clarke, of allegedly a criminal convicted by Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice for stealing from the United Bank of Africa (UBA) – Liberia in a groundbreaking US dollar 1.3 million syndicates.

He also said that Mrs. Clarke had a constant habit of leaving the children at home unsupervised and unattended by an adult, so the younger brother stuck an object in his older brother’s ears, resulting in his seeking medical help a health facility.

Wright told the court that one particular night when Mrs. Clarke and her now husband Mr. Clarke were fighting, she drove the kids to their father, Mr. Bility, at 4 a.m., suggesting that she was all from a capable mother lacking to look after the kids.

He claimed that Madam Clarke did not have the financial means to look after the children because she had no job, no other visible income, and had never worked in her life.

But attorneys representing Madam Clarke argued that the decision on child custody under the Domestic Relations Act and the issue of children’s rights provided for in the Children Act and other laws in Liberia was testified and tenaciously focused on the best interests of children .

The lawyers argued that because of Mr. Bility’s moral incompetence, the judge should grant her client permanent custody in the best interests of the innocent children.

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