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Ojukwu brothers fight Bianca

Over late husband's Will



BARELY seven months after defunct Biafran Head of State, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was interred in his Nnewi country home; his relatives have literally gone to war against his widow, Bianca over matrimonial and legal inheritance. They have discarded the Will allegedly written by her late husband in favour of biological rights.

 It was learned that even before Emeka Ojukwu's death in a London Hospital, members of his immediate and extended family had begun flexing muscle over extended family estate and also quarreled over late Ojukwu's own personal property. The messy brouhaha eventually led to persistent paternity crisis involving Sylvester Debe Ojukwu on one hand and Emeka Ojukwu Jnr. on the other hand.

 The latest information now is that contrary to the tradition of Igbos, the late Emeka Ojukwu's relatives have each according to his preference, confiscated the family joint asset some of which were inherited from their grandfather, Sir Louis Phillip Odumegwu-Ojukwu. They have allegedly stopped Bianca from benefiting from her inheritance as contained in the yet to be officially unveiled Will written by the Ikemba Nnewi before he died. This they allegedly tried to do by denouncing the Will as ineffectual and making bold attempts to forcefully possess the controversial properties.

 “I don't know how they managed to get information on the contents of the Will which is still with the late Emeka Ojukwu's lawyer. But from their utterances, it was obvious that they have known the contents of the Will. It appears Bianca was substantially favoured with some movable and immobile properties including Casabianca and Villaska lodge in Enugu and Lagos.

 However, Ojukwu's brothers are angry that some of the properties in the late Emeka Ojukwu's Will are those jointly owned by the children of Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu. They argue that the properties cannot be taken by one family unit without the consent of all Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu children and without due regards to the pronouncement of the law court on the issue of rightful ownership since there is a court case concerning Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu Estate.

 Bianca, the youngest wife of late Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was shocked by her experience with her husband's relatives even before his death in London.

 “Remember during Emeka Ojukwu's admission at a London Hospital, there were rumours of his death, in fact the last rumour before he eventually died shook the nation to no end. While Bianca and Emeka Ojukwu's children made efforts to verify and douse the tension created by the rumour, his brothers shamelessly scrambled over their father's (late Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu) estate, each of them tried to take possession of a choice property. It was as if the dreaded lion is dead and it's now time for the hare to play. Bianca was surprised that they did not try to ascertain the true position before exposing their greed and callousness,” a competent source said, adding:

 “Let me give you an example, during the period, one of Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu's eldest brother, stormed Villaska Lodge and forcefully took over the building. This happened when Emeka Ojukwu was still alive. When Bianca heard the information, she was sad and immediately reported the matter to Ralph Uwazuruike, leader of Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). Uwazuruike was also astonished that Emeka Ojukwu's relatives could be so insensitive. He immediately ordered MASSOB members to flush them out of Villaska Lodge.”

 National Daily competent sources disclosed that Emeka Ojukwu elder brothers who were allegedly born by his father's concubine have been emboldened by the fact of his demise to assume overriding control of Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu's estate pending the conclusion of the court proceeding on the matter.

 “They have stated emphatically during extended family meetings that they will not allow Emeka Ojukwu's family unit to tamper with the property which they claim is their collective inheritance from their benefactor  Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu  they have severally tried to intimidate Emeka Ojukwu's children who equally resisted such unwarranted bravado.

 “Emeka Ojukwu Jnr is a little tactical in his approach but Sylvester Debe brooks no nonsense, he reacts instantly to perceived marginalization of late Emeka Ojukwu's children. Despite not enjoying the most cordial relationship with Bianca, he detests any attempt to victimize her or any of his own brothers. Someone told me that Emeka Ojukwu Jnr is worried by the attempt to make his father's Will ineffectual but he is said to be very hopeful about his inheritance on the yet to be unveiled Will,” our source said.

 Sources said Emeka Ojukwu's children filed a suit against their late father and his elder brothers asking the court to declare them the rightful owners of Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu's estate based on the wishes of their late grandfather.

 The tradition of the Igbo demands that issues concerning the assets of a dead person: his Will and liability cannot be discussed before the end of six months mourning period. But contrary to Igbo tradition, Emeka Ojukwu's elder brothers are allegedly bickering with Bianca over the content of the late Ikemba's Will.

 Emeka Ojukwu's relatives have allegedly told the extended family that Bianca and her children will not be allowed to inherit any property bequeathed by Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu unless Emeka Ojukwu's direct asset. Bianca was also warned to keep off Villaska Lodge, Ikoyi, where she stays during her visit to Lagos and another property in Enugu which is said to be one of the properties inherited from Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu.

 However, Bianca, sources said, is baffled by the behavior of her husband's relative because she has not taken any untowards action that warranted their behavior. It was learned that Bianca somehow, restricted herself to observing her husband's traditional mourning period although she was tacitly involved in the activities of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and was recently appointed Nigeria's Ambassador to Spain.

 It was gathered that the late Emeka Ojukwu and his brothers are Directors of Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu Company the holding company of Ojukwu estate. The Ojukwu sibling despite their case in court has tried to manage their father's estate without recourse to family feud over ownership. But Emeka Ojukwu's death may change everything. However, before Emeka Ojukwu's demise, his eldest brother, Joseph Ojukwu managed nine properties in the South-East and twelve other properties in Lagos. Emeka Ojukwu managed five of the properties. Each of the Ojukwu brothers had an agent managing the properties on his behalf.

 “But things are getting really very bad. During his lifetime, Ikemba accepted this management agreement pending court's decision on the ownership of Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu estate. He had a fairly good relationship with his brothers but things seem to have changed after his death. His siblings are not only fighting his wife Bianca, over properties, they want to even alter the Directorship of the family's estate,” our source said.

 Soon after the death of Eze Igbo gburugburu, a man who claimed to be his elder brother's son announced that he is a Director of the family company without prior information to Bianca or the late Emeka Ojukwu's children. The fellow was said to have further surprised Bianca with his pronouncement to have taken over the five properties managed by late Emeka Ojukwu and the nine that is managed by his own father.

 “Bianca has been married to Ojukwu for about 23 years yet she has never met this strange son of her late husband's elder brother. Bianca met him for the first time during her husband's funeral and immediately after the funeral; the audacious young man accosted Bianca and inquired about her late husband's Will.

 Bianca said she was terrified that the strange Ojukwu could be talking about Will at such traditional mourning period and so soon after Ojukwu's funeral,” our source said.

 Bianca, is said to be worried that some family members may be planning to cause chaos in Ojukwu's extended family and by implication impair Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu's family legacy.

 “Bianca has been pleading with the family to exercise patience until the end of the traditional six months when Emeka Ojukwu's Will will be read to the family. She told them to take things easy to avoid rocking the boat. We all have our individual rights. Bianca, his children and the children of other wives have rights,” our source said.

 It was learned that the Igwe of Nnewi in Council and elders in Umudim are worried over the Ojukwu family crisis. Several meeting has been allegedly held with the Ojukwu family to resolve their differences all to avail.

 Observers are equally worried about the dimension of the Ojukwu family crisis and advise that the law should be their final ass.

Culled from National Daily

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