Legal Drama

Why Wizkid’s U.S Crossover Child Support Baby Mama Drama with Binta Diallo Could Land him in Jail

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It has been over three weeks since news broke that Wizkid, Starboy label owner and Nigerian music pop star, is allegedly the father of a newborn baby boy named Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Jnr., Wizkid’s legal name.

Wizkid allegedly fathered this child with Binta Diamond Diallo, an American of Guinean heritage residing in Georgia.Wizkid, it appears, was actively dating his girlfriend Tania Omotayo, when the child was conceived. Does this sound familiar? Yes. It is familiar because this is the second time Wizkid has allegedly fathered a child while actively dating Omotayo. Like the first child, it is also the second time the twenty-five year old has blatantly denied that he is the father of a child he fathered out of wedlock. We also now know the outcome of the paternity for the first child. He was Wizkid’s child.

In reaction to Wizkid’s recent denial, Diallo granted an interview to US gossip blog ‘The Shade Room’ and clearly indicated her disappointment, and concern that Wizkid was reneging on his promise not to be a deadbeat dad.

Now, if you work, hang with or are Wizkid, read this article carefully and take it very seriously.

Distinct from the first time when Wizkid denied his first child publicly, and got away with it for a while in Nigeria, this child is an American citizen born on US soil.

American law concerning deadbeat fathers has legal bite, even for foreigners who become parents of American children.

First things first, Wizkid should take a paternity test to confirm whether the child is in fact his. Also, as a general rule, artists, stop denying that a child belongs to you when you have not taken the requisite paternity test. It is downright foolish and kind of mean to do so, especially when you have a history of fathering a child out of wedlock.

Further, when in a situation like this, hire a crisis management legal team. Your managers are ill-equipped to handle cases like these and so are many if not majority of the public relations firm out of Nigeria. Most do not have a lawyer on staff and do not understand the nuances of the law involved to deal with such a crisis.

Third, once confirmed that the child is in fact yours, own responsibility, work things out and start taking care of your legal responsibility. Every American child has a legal right to be financially supported by his or her parents. Your stay in Africa or the fact that you are an African artist  is not going to eradicate that right.

Fourth, you can work out a child support agreement with your baby’s mother without the involvement of the court. In this instance, Diallo says she trusted Wizkid’s word that he would take care of his child. When you make such a promise and then renege on your promises, you better believe for a situation like this, a mother’s love for you will quickly turn into hate because you are not protecting her child; and she will drag you through the legal justice system. There is no incentive for Diallo, a non-Nigerian, to put up with the shaming, embarrassment and most importantly her child going without when his father can afford to take care of him. It makes no logical sense and don’t expect her to put up with it.

Figure out how you the alleged deadbeat father want to play it. Respectful and polite or all out war. Either way, your choice.

Fifth, in the event that you refuse to do the above i.e. be a responsible father and also not embarrass yourself and your fellow country people on U.S soil by crossing over with unnecessary baby mama drama, as if it is by force to be in America, here is what and most likely happens to deadbeat dads in America should you fall into that category:

  • Irrespective of the fact that you are an international artist, the next time you step on U.S soil, you can and will most likely be slapped with a subpoena by the mother’s attorney to appear in court to deal with the case of your lack of child support. It is not hard to find you. The promoters that bring you here advertise all over about your performances. If you will perform, you might just get served by a sheriff on stage while you are performing. Yeah. You are effectively “spoiling market” for all: the promoters who want you to perform, the local artists here that may want to work with you and of course you again make your fellow country people look bad. As if Nigerian “419” reputations especially in states like Georgia and Texas is not enough. Now, let’s add “deadbeat” to the mix.
  • After you are served and when you appear in court, the court will  first determine the issue of paternity. Please note that if you fail to appear in court when you have been subpoenaed to do so, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. This IS NOT Nigeria.

The rest is information directly from Georgia state for how the child process works. Note a few key things: a) they can seize/put a lien on your asset(s). That includes putting a lien on the payment owed to you by a promoter; b) if a court has issued an order and you have failed to obey, you could be found in contempt and jailed; and c) the court can deny, suspend, or revoke the passport of someone who owes more than $2,500 in child support.

Nigerian artists, we need to do better. Wizkid, you have a great example of your fellow mate Davido fighting for his child. You instead are denying ,without a paternity test, your alleged child, and it is not the first time you have done this and turned out to be dead wrong! At least take the paternity test and find out if Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun Jnr. is in fact yours.

On another note, why can’t these artists use protection? Also, why are we building the wrong kind of public relations? Is it by force to have sex in oyinbo land? Last case we saw out of Georgia was the alleged rape claim reported to Georgia police against Timaya. Timaya already left to Nigeria. Folks be careful otherwise it is only a matter of time when one of our artists will be locked up.

It is inevitable if the foolishness continues.

My 50kobo for all it’s worth. Actually it’s worth a whole lot.

-Ms. Uduak

 

“The Child Support Process

The Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) will take the following steps to service your case:

Step 1: Open a Child Support Case
Either parent can call our office at 1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347) and schedule an appointment to open a case. Anyone who receives help from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program or receives certain Medicaid benefits can get help from DCSS without having to apply. All others must complete an application form and pay a fee of $25. You may fill out an application online or you may download an application or you can request an application be emailed to you by calling 1-844-MYGADHS (1-844-694-2347).

Step 2: Locate the Non-Custodial Parent
To get a support order, establish paternity or enforce a support order, DCSS must know where the Non-Custodial Parent lives and/or works. It may take several months to get child support if you do not know where the other parent lives or if the address is out of state. There is no guarantee the other parent will be found, but the more information you provide, such as the other parent’s date of birth and social security number, the easier it will be.

Step 3: Establish Paternity
Before a court can order child support and medical support, paternity must be established. If paternity has not already been established or paternity has been established but is being disputed, DCSS will order that a paternity test be conducted. Testing is done by Buccal Swabbing (saliva) or by drawing a blood sample. The test is more than 99% accurate.

Step 4: File a Support Order
A child support order is established based on the Georgia Child Support Guidelines, which consider the income of both parents and the number of children. Sometimes other factors may be considered.

If either parent can get medical insurance for the child at a reasonable cost, the court will consider that cost in deciding the amount of child support awarded. Usually, if the Non-Custodial Parent can get health insurance at a reasonable cost, that parent will be ordered to obtain it for the child.

Step 5: Set up Payment
After a child support order is in place, the support amount will be deducted from the Non-Custodial Parent’s paycheck. State law requires immediate income withholding in most cases. This is an easy way for the Non-Custodial Parent to make child support payments. It also provides the Non-Custodial Parent with a record of payments made. If support payments are not deducted from the Non-Custodial Parent’s paycheck, they should be paid as directed in the court order. It is very important to keep records of the payments that are made.

The Fatherhood Program can help Non-Custodial Parents who have a case with DCSS and are unable to pay child support.

Step 6: Enforce the Support Order
When the Non-Custodial Parent does not pay the full amount, or does not pay at all, enforcement action is necessary.

If a parent does not obey a support order, he or she may be found in contempt of court. A contempt action may be filed against the Non-Custodial Parent who fails to make support payments or does not maintain the required medical insurance. Non-Custodial Parents found in contempt of court may be fined, sentenced to jail or both. The judge may order the Non-Custodial Parent who is unable to pay to be enrolled in the Fatherhood Program or in the Parental Accountability Court program. In addition to being enrolled on one of these programs, the Non-Custodial Parent is still obligated to pay the full amount of current and past-due support.

The child support order may also be enforced through one of the following actions:

  • Withholding child support from paychecks, unemployment or weekly worker’s compensation benefits.
  • Intercepting federal and/or state income tax refunds.
  • Reporting the parent’s delinquent child support payments to the three credit reporting bureaus.
  • Suspension or revocation of a Non-Custodial Parents drivers’, professional, occupational or recreational hunting or fishing licenses for their failure to pay child support as ordered.
  • Intercepting lottery winnings when they exceed $2,500.
  • Filing contempt actions in the superior court which may result in a jail sentence if the Non-Custodial  Parent is found to be in contempt of court.
  • Filing of liens to seize matched bank accounts, lump sum worker’s compensation settlements and real or personal property.
  • Denial, suspension or revocation of the passport of someone who owes more than $2,500 in child support.

Step 7: Review the Order
Both parents have the right to ask DCSS to review a child support order three years after the order becomes effective, unless a substantial change in circumstances can be shown for orders less than three years old. The request must be made, in writing, to the child support office handling their case. The review by the local office can result in a recommendation that the amount of support should be less, more or stay the same. Medical insurance may also be added to the order.

Last Revised December 4, 2015
Attn: DCSS Policy and Paternity Unit”

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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2 Comments

  1. Idongesit Ukpe says:

    I hope he hids to the above listed instructions. This information is worth thousands of dollars especially for someone in his situation. Always trying to fit in the wrong crowd.#smh. Why must his name be enlisted in such crowd!!!.

  2. Idongesit Ukpe says:

    *heeds

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