Woman in estate battle refuses to take DNA test

The widow claims they have been unreasonably bullied, harassed and discriminated against, on account of said orders. [iStockphoto]

A widow seeking to inherit a share of Sh200 million estate left behind by Nakuru businessman Washington Olweny has declined to take a DNA test to prove that she sired a son with the late tycoon.

In an application dated January 6 and filed at the High Court in Nakuru on Monday, Norah Atieno, who is battling other two women for a share of the estate, withdrew a consent she signed to undergo a DNA test alongside her alleged son.

Atieno is fighting her alleged co-wives, Phelisia Akoth and Anne Wanjiru to control Olweny’s estate.

Atieno, on June 21, 2021, agreed and consented to undergo the test with her alleged son John Odhiambo after their relationship was questioned in court.

On August 16, 2021, Justice Teresia Matheka gave the order for Atieno and Odhiambo to undergo the DNA test. However, she has now withdrawn her consent and has urged Justice Matheka to set aside or otherwise discharge the orders.

“I am no longer willing to undergo the test and I have withdrawn my consent for the same,” she submits.

According to Atieno, she withdrew the consent after Akoth and her sons allegedly used the court orders to allegedly harass and humiliate both Atieno and Odhiambo.

She says they have been unreasonably bullied, harassed and discriminated against, on account of said orders. “The petitioners (Akoth and sons) have turned the orders into a tool to humiliate us and I am therefore, greatly prejudiced by the status of the affairs,” she claims.

She says that when she agreed to the test, she thought it was to help the court make a sound judgment but Akoth turned the motive to be pure malice, discrimination and dehumanization.

She says she was surprised that Akoth now wants her to be cited for contempt for allegedly disobeying the orders, knowing very well she (Akoth) has been the one preventing her from freely making efforts to comply with the orders.

Atieno claims she agreed to the test by mistake and misrepresentation and had she known the motives, she would never have agreed to the making of the orders. “I did not have time to reflect, because the DNA question was put to me in the middle of my cross-examination,” she says.

The woman adds that she erroneously agreed to the test on behalf of Adhiambo and it had been lost to her that he was already an adult and supposed to decide on his behalf.

It is Atieno’s submission that Odhiambo was never given an opportunity to defend his position before the order was imposed on him in his absence, and it greatly prejudiced him.

Atieno further avers that there is no rationale for requiring the maternity test, bearing in mind the issue before the court is whether or not, she was married to the deceased.

“We have a right to withdraw any consent we signed in the event we feel we have been prejudiced,” she submits.

Atieno wants the hearing of the case to proceed to its conclusion, without the DNA test. She also wants the court to order Akoth and her sons to file in court, accounts and a full inventory of assets of the estate, their whereabouts and status.

Further, she wants them ordered to surrender to the court, original titles and documents relating to fixed assets of the estate, pending hearing and determination of the case. She accuses Akoth and her step-sons of subjecting the assets and the income to vicious wastes, to the detriment of the estate and beneficiaries.

“Income-generating assets of the estate are in control and custody of the petitioners who are very hostile towards me and are solely benefiting while the matter is pending in court. The action may prejudice the rest of the beneficiaries,” she says.

Olweny died intestate on November 28, 2016, and the three women have been battling in court since 2017.

Akoth and her sons will have a chance to respond to the application on February 13.