By Tony Edike & Enyim Enyim,Enugu
Widow of late Biaf-ran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odu-megwu Ojukwu, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, and her children were said to have been more favoured than their other relations in the sharing of their father’s property as Ojukwu’s Will was read at the Enugu High Court yesterday.
The Will which was expected to have brought peace to the family now wrangling over who should control the assets left behind by the late Ikemba Nnewi since his demise on November 26, last year, has however been rejected by some of the beneficiaries through Emeka Ojukwu jnr.
In rejecting the Will which was read at the High Court by the Chief Registrar, Enugu Judiciary and Probate, Mr Dennis Ekoh, Ojukwu jnr called it a ruse.
They accused Bianca and her lawyer of allegedly causing trouble with the issue.
’’What I have to say about the Will is my position on it. It is Bianca and the lawyer that are doing what they are doing. We are waiting for the Will to be read; then I can make a statement on it. For the Will to be read, all of us, my brothers and all the beneficiaries would have to be present. And if the Will does not reflect the wish of my father, which we all know, we shall go to court,’’ he said.
Earlier, Bianca and her two sons had dragged Ojukwu’s brothers before the Lagos High Court over the control of Ojukwu Transport Limited’s, OTL’s, property situated at No. 29 Queen’s Drive, Ikoyi,Lagos, where Ojukwu once resided. The Will which was read by Mr. Ekoh also threw up some surprises when an ‘unknown’ name Tenny Harman was mentioned as number one among the late Ojukwu’s children.
There were to be more shockers as the name of Sylvester Ojukwu popularly called “Dede” was conspicuously omitted from the list endorsed by Ojukwu himself as his children just as Emeka Ojukwu (Jnr) only got a property in Umudim Nnewi, Ojukwu’s hometown as his entitlement.
After appointing Bianca, the late Igwe of Oraukwu, Emeka Ojukwu and James Chukwuneme as trustees and executors of the will the names of the children were next; and the late Ikemba stated that only the eight listed and no other person should be regarded as his children.
The eight children listed are Tenny Harman, Emeka Ojukwu, Mmegha, Okigbo, Ebele, Chineme, Afam, and Nwachukwu.
Bianca who arrived the Enugu High Court premises in a black Prado Jeep at about 8:30 could not hide her surprise when the strange name of Tenny was mentioned among Ojukwu’s children as she started whispering with family members in the registrar’s office with her.
Apart from Bianca, other family members who were in court to listen to the Chief Registrar included Mr. Mike Ezemba and Mr Val Nwosu; Ojukwu’s first cousin. They however declined comments on the matter as they left in different vehicles that brought them to the court premises.
Bianca, who is currently Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain would be all smiles later as the will awarded her Ojukwu’s Enugu mansion ‘Casabianca’ located at No: 7 Forest Crescent GRA, which the late Ikemba Nnewi had named after her. She is to also replace Ojukwu on the board of the Ojukwu Transport Limited, OTL, or appoint a representative in the management board.
Bianca heaved a sigh of relief as the Will clearly gave her a stake in the controversial OTL. The company was founded by Ojukwu’s father, Sir Louis Odumegwu Ojukwu who died in 1966, but left several assets behind for his children especially inLagosunder the OTL.
Ojukwu transferred his interest in the company to his widow and children in the Will which reads inter alia, “Bianca and her children should take over my place at my transport…she may also wish to appoint somebody to represent her at the board…”
Bianca also got two properties located at plot 20 Jabi Abuja, with Certificate of Occupancy number 4405, as well as another property located at Kuje,Abuja.
The late Eze-Igbo also willed all his personal effects, monies and cars for Bianca and her children’s upkeep.
He also allotted to Bianca two hectares of land at Umuezeani Umudim Nnewi, ‘’If she does not remarry.’’
Ojukwu’s strange daughter Tenny, who was said to be unknown to members of the family before now, was allotted Jubilee Hotels,Zaria; but when the will was read it was observed that the hotel had been sold thus she would receive the proceeds from the sale.
For the former Commissioner inAnambraState, Emeka Ojukwu, who was generally regarded as Ojukwu’s first son, it was not a fair deal as he got only a house in Umudim Nnewi. Ojukwu further willed a hectare of land each to all his daughters but directed that his Nnewi property is “to remain a binding legacy to us for generations to come.“