The Musa family has been in the news for some time now, holding the hot potato of the most notorious Child adoption legal case in the United Kingdom. The fear of losing six citizens has created the greatest challenges to the Nigerian Embassy as it has since the commencement of the case squared up to salvage the Nigeria’s image from embarrassment…. Harringey Council, reviving its image from Baby P scenario wants to prove it remains very much a caring Council as the Social Services Department had been placed in the dock following Baby P imgroglio. Now, Musa Children adoption case is another serious challenge. Can the Musas regain the custody of the six children lost to Harringey Council in 2010?… Wood Green Crown Court is the field of legal play from Monday May 21.2012…
Mr and Mrs Chiwar and Gloria Musa
*Case is Nigeria Embassy’s greatest challenge
*Harringey Council hunted by Baby P trauma,
*Council alleges Gloria is an incompetent mum as a sex worker
*Presidency sees case as humiliation of the Nigerian child!
*Musa family claims Haringey Council Social Services want to use them to salvage its image…
A sensational high profile Children adoption case involving a Nigerian couple and London Borough of Haringey in the United Kingdom commences on Monday May 21 this year.
The Crown Court is to determine the reason why a couple, Chiwar and Gloria Musa would not be allowed to take the custody of their six children having been portrayed to be allegedly incompetent and irresponsible to take care of the children.
Both the Council and the Musas have played a chess game with the adoption case as both for some have engaged in a stand-off which had caused Nigerian authorities and various interest groups to wade in.
Musas’ six children are currently in foster homes while the couple are behind bars for contempt of Court.
The Children were picked up by Haringey Council after they were allegedly discovered to be facing all sort of abuses from their parents.
The sensitive case in recent months had been portrayed as one of its kind due to the nature of the adoption and the fight for credibility by Haringey Council which had faced several punishment in the past years because of social services laxity causing the council its good image.
The Councils’ social services in the past years have been put on trial on cases of wrong handling of children in appalling conditions, causing high level of investigation and even with many top officials losing their jobs at the council.
A case in point was the case of a young girl referred to as ‘Baby P’, who died as a result of parents abuse. The Council had gone through several years of critic with one of the Councils major heads losing his job.
The current Musa case poses another major challenge and the alleged situation of Musa’s children condition calls for drastic action as any further mishap may cause the council image further irreparable damage.
The case had created a major diplomatic stand–off scenario between Nigeria and United Kingdom Immigration authorities with Nigeria requesting that the family be sent back to Nigeria as the family requested as a source from Nigeria Embassy described the Musa’s as a direct violation of the rights of the Nigerian child.
Chiwar and Gloria Musa, who claim to be parents of the children, were said to have been reported to the London Borough of Haringey by one Alexandra Constantinou, on the ground that the mother is a sex worker, and that the children had different fathers and had faced several abuses..
Six children minors were said to have been whisked away by the men of the Haringey Police to the Sharon Fair Haringey Social Service on June 12, 2010, after they had stormed the Norwich Park Hospital, where the woman had given birth to the last child who was taken away by Social workers and Police just as she was delivered.
Prior to the adoption, the couple was said to have been placed on close watch by the Haringey Council after reports of several abuses.Gloria was said to have played the Council as the children were under the Social watch and the delivering of the new baby gave an ample opportunity for Haringey Social workers to grab the baby and her other offsprings.
An earlier charge that the couple were not the parents of the children had been debunked as DNA test eventually revealed that the six children namely; Abraham, Blessing, Sarah, Lerato, Favour and Queen are children of the couple, which contradicted the report made to the Police by the whistle blower, Constantinou.
Both Chiwar and Gloria were locked up last November by an Haringey Magistrate Court for contempt of Court and conspiracy to abduct the children from the foster home where they are currently receiving care.
The couple are currently being held in Holloway women’s and Pentonville men’s prison respectively after their Magistrate Court convictions.
Bimbo Afolayan, CANUK President.. wants Nigerians to lend support.
The couple allegedly conspired to abduct the six children from their foster-care homes with the intention of returning them to Africa, after allegedly applying for passports for the children from Nigerian Embassy.
The couple also allegedly had failed to comply with bail conditions to sign on once a week at police stations in Haringey and then Croydon causing them their current lock up by the court.
The court refused them bail on the grounds that the case was too serious for the court to be able to determine their bail.
The court heard about how Gloria and Chiwar Musa had variously maltreated each of their 5 older children and attempted to drug/kill their sixth child baby, only saved from death by the intervention of St Thomas’s hospital.
A source claimed that every attempt to save the family the jail trauma had been complicated by Haringey Council which insisted on prosecuting the couple, learning from the past experience.
“This case is aptly a muscle flexing case as Nigerian Embassy had pleaded for the family’s release to enable them return to their home country”, an executive of Central Association of Nigerians in the United Kingdom (CANUK), told EMNnews.
However, many interest groups are calling on all anti adoption families and child snatching victims to converge at Haringey Crown Court in North London to support Musa family in their quest to regain the custody of their children. The case commences by 9-00 at The Crown Court, Lordship Lane, Wood Green London N22.
Nathaniel Oyinloye representing Central Association of Nigeria in the United Kingdom, said the Musa family, irrespective of any offence committed deserve to be given their children back and the dignity of Nigeria should be restored since the family said it was ready to go back to Nigeria. He called on all Nigerians to come for a solidarity support for the family at the Court on Monday.
“By Monday 21st we all expect Musa and Gloria to be released from prison and their children released with them. This will go down in history as a judgement of truth and victory for the human race, an advocate for the family, Sabine Kurjo McNeill wrote in an internet appeal.
Musas’ family Bio-Data
By Sabine Kurjo McNeill
Briefing for potential supporters in Wood Green Court
Posted on May 19, 2012
The Musas are a Nigerian family who came to live in the UK in 2003 with 2 children and a further 5 have been born since.
They have lived variously in Manchester, Barnet and most recently Haringey, North London where they settled in the latter part of 2009.
Father Chiwar is a political film-maker and mother Gloria is an evangelical preacher, writer and ordained as Bishop Gloria. She has a huge following in Africa.
The children are F (11), T (10), B (8), A (6), S (5) Q (2) and N, a 2 month old baby boy who was removed at birth in prison. All of the children are beautiful and well above average bright children.
Soon after the family’s arrival in Haringey, they began to be visited by social workers with concerns that mother was a sex-worker and that the children had been parented by different fathers.
Then in April 2010, the police came to remove all of the then 5 children. A note allegedly written by the oldest child complaining of mistreatment by her mother was supposedly found in the neighbour’s garden, to justify the kidnap.
The children were taken into foster-care in Kent and family court proceedings began. The 6th child Q born in June 2010 was removed immediately after birth. This happened at 4 am. 9 police officers burst into the maternity ward, snatched the baby from her mother’s breast and roughed Gloria up.
Since this episode Gloria has suffered from a damaged knee and cannot walk without a stick or go up or down stairs.
The baby failed to thrive in foster-care and was returned to her mother after 4 months, following which her health improved. The rationale given for returning her was that this mother tended to mistreat her children only when they became older, not when they were babies.
During the summer of 2010 through spring 2011 the parents struggled down to Kent for contact sessions with their children but by May 2011 these dwindled to zero. In fact they haven’t seen their oldest daughter since August 2010, when she reported being inappropriately touched by the son of the foster-carers.
Meanwhile the original allegations that Gloria was a sex-worker and Chiwar not the father had long been disproved. In a fact-finding hearing under LJ Brasse in February 2011 the issues were child-neglect and child-cruelty, allegedly endorsed by all of the older children.
Then in June 2011 baby Q suddenly developed symptoms and on 28th June the parents took her to hospital. During that morning she reached a critical state and there were allegations that her parents had drugged her with a substance containing opium. She was taken into care and the parents have not seen her since.
The parents were evicted from their Haringey home, criminal charges were brought against them and bail conditions imposed. They moved to Croydon but continued to be harassed by Haringey police and were fearful for their lives.
Then in November 2011 there was another fact-finding hearing under the President of the Family Division Sir Nicholas Wall who found against the parents. Police were waiting outside the courtroom to arrest the couple. They were taken to Pentonville and Holloway Prisons respectively.
Criminal proceedings initiated by the Crown Prosecution Service commenced at Haringey Magistrates Court in December. The couple were charged on counts of having abused and neglected their 5 older children and having attempted to poison the baby. They were also accused of having failed to fulfil their bail conditions by signing on at police-stations in Croydon and Haringey which was totally untrue as they had evidence for each of their visits.
Bail was applied for twice but refused on the grounds that the parents might try to flee the country and/or abduct their children.
On March 9th Gloria gave birth to her 7th child N in her prison cell.
The case comes to criminal trial at Wood Green Crown Court as of this Monday 21st May. 4 weeks have been allocated to the trial and the fact that it will be heard in front of a jury gives reason to hope that some of the evidence falsified or omitted by the local authority will come out under the more stringent standards of the criminal court. Also, as hasn’t happened in the family proceedings, the children will give evidence by video-link to the Court. The 3rd positive indicator is that the Musas have a legal team also from Nigeria/black Africa who are passionately motivated to win this case for them.
However, by now the Musas are very alone in the world. The Nigerian High Commission have asked for their right of consular visits to the children, but Haringey refused that. Various friends who might have given witness evidence in their favour have been warned off apparently and in a number of cases their children have been removed, too.
A few of us in this anti—child abuse and anti-child-snatching network have been trying to support the Musas by visiting them in prison and helping as McKenzie friends in the court. In their distress and their extremely bad experiences with family lawyers, they have ended up dismissing them and have been trying to represent themselves in the family proceedings.
Injunction orders and ‘reporting restriction orders’ under threat of imprisonment have been issued to ‘protect the identity of the children’, even though there has been massive publicity internationally.
Christopher Booker has written about this case fourteen times in the Sunday Telegraph.
It would help the Musas greatly if the public gallery were full of people watching the trial, showing public support for them, which will also impress the jury. Of course it is not expected that the hearing will go on solidly for 5 days each week for 4 weeks, there will be breaks.
If anyone can spare the time to perform this noble service for the sake of justice and humanity please email sabine AT 3d-metrics.com. You will then be kept updated with progress of the trial as it unfolds, so that whatever days you join in, you will always know what’s happened so far and be able to pick up from there.
One solid supporter will attend throughout the 4 weeks.
Wood Green Crown Court is 4 minutes’ walk from Wood Green tube station (Piccadilly Line) and the hearing starts at 10.00 Monday with Justice Patrick.
By Wednesday we should have some idea of the programme for the rest of the 4 weeks or where things are heading.
By common agreement, this is the UK’s currently most shocking and disturbing child-snatching case. The Musas have been treated terribly by Haringey, the police and in the prison and have had a dreadful ordeal generally which for those of us witnessing their suffering has been extremely painful and stressful.
Some of their problems have been exacerbated by cultural differences and not understanding the differences between the family and the criminal court system – we’ve all been on a learning curve in that regard!
But if what they are accused of were true and they were not the good parents they claim to be, how come all the children were doing so well at school and were so happy and normal, with no reported health problems before 2010?
If the jury see through Haringey’s machinations and acquit the Musas, this will have a positive impact on all the other cases!
By Sabine Kurjo McNeill