By Onozure Dania
Lagos—The trial in the ongoing legal battle between the widow of the late Ikemba of Nnewi, Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, Bianca Ojukwu and his brothers over the family estate commenced yesterday before a Lagos state High Court sitting at Igbosere.
Mrs Ojukwu in her evidence in chief before Justice Abdulfattah Lawal, admitted that neither her nor her children are shareholders or directors in Ojukwu Transport Limited, OTL.
She also admitted that Ojukwu has eight children which includes the claimants, Afamefuna and Nwachukwu, adding that she is the only one that was legally married among Ojukwu’s wives, as she engaged in court, Church and traditional marriage.
Bianca, under cross examination also told the court that the suit that was filed before the court is only for the right of her children and not other children of Ojukwu.
The witness further informed the court that some of the OTL properties in question had been in the possession of her late husband before his demise, adding that the rent of those properties were being collected by her husband.
Mrs. Ojukwu had on behalf of her two under-aged children, Afamefuna and Nwachukwu (claimants) dragged Ojukwu Transport Limited, OTL, and seven others before a Lagos State High Court sitting in Igbosere over an alleged move by the family to eject her sons from the company’s properties located in Lagos.
She had asked the court to declare that her children are entitled to the possession and occupation of one of the properties known as No 29 Oyinkan Abayomi Street, Ikoyi Lagos until the harmonisation of the management and administration of the assets of the first defendant, OTL.
The defendants in the suit are: Prof Joseph Ojukwu, Engr. Emmanuel Ojukwu; Lotanna Putalora Ojukwu; Dr Patrick Ojukwu; Arch. Edward Ojukwu; Lota Akajiora Ojukwu and Mrs Massey Udegbe (doing business under Massey Udegbe & Company).
In the suit, Bianca, and her two children, had in their statement of claim, prayed the court to declare that the threat of forceful ejection from 29 Oyinkan Abayomi Street by the defendants is illegal.
She is also asking the court for a declaration that her children are entitled to possess the following property, namely: No. 13 Hawksworth Road, Ikoyi (now known as No. 13 Ojora Road; No. 32A Commercial Avenue, Yaba, Lagos; No. 30 Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos and No. 30 McPherson Avenue, Ikoyi.
According to her, the properties were under the possession of late Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu, the father of the claimants from the time the properties were released from government acquisition till date.
The claimants stated that throughout the period their father was struggling to retrieve the properties from the government, the second to seventh defendants “never played any role in the struggle nor contributed financially or otherwise to the realisation of the struggle.”
However, the judge adjourned the matter till today, for continuation of cross examination of Bianca.