THE crisis that erupted among the immediate and extended family of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu since the reading of his Will deepened Monday as the Directors of Ojukwu Transport Limited described the widow, Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu, as a joker who has no stake in the company.
The directors who threw their weight behind Emeka, a son of the late Odumegwu-Ojukwu, emphasised that Ojukwu Transport Limited owned by his father and grandfather, the late Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu, is a different property from the private property of Ikemba, adding that Bianca cannot claim the company as the ‘controversial’ Will had conferred on her the trusteeship.
But Chief Emeka Onyemelukwe, the personal lawyer and close associate and confidant of the late leader of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) who passed on in a London hospital on November 24, 2011, has described the Will of Odumegwu-Ojukwu, which was read recently before members of the family at the probate registry of the Enugu State High Court, as sacrosanct.
The Will had given the trustees of the company to Bianca, which the eldest son of Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Emeka, described as untrue and improper.
Reacting through a telephone interview from Boston United States of America yesterday, one of the Directors, Mr. Ifeukwu Ojukwu, said: “Bianca was neither a trustee member nor a Director of OTL and it is good to note that OTL is a different property from the things the late Ikemba Odumegwu-Ojukwu had and the directorship cannot be transferred through a Will”.
“I just came back to Nigeria two weeks ago where I attended a meeting of OTL directors and Bianca was not there. She is not even a member of the directors so she cannot lay claim to that.”
Ifeukwu further noted that all the directors of OTL are in full support of Emeka as the head of the Dim Odumegwu-Ojukwu’s family, recalling that “his father told me that he is his first son and the head of the family in the event of his death. So whatever he decides to do we, are behind him and we will support him.”
It would be recalled that Prof. Sylvester Ojukwu (Debe) had been laying claim to headship of Ojukwu family, claiming that he is the first son and not Emeka.
Emeka has taken over his father’s residence in Nnewi, according to the Igbo tradition that the first son traditionally inherits his father’s house and compound in the event of the father’s death.
Onyemelukwe, who spoke in his Enugu chambers yesterday, said the clarification became necessary in view of some uncomplimentary media reports attributed to some members of the Ojukwu dynasty, including one of the sons, Emeka (Jnr.) He said the Will was registered in the Enugu High Court on July 9, 2005, while the codicil, which was to give details and correct any mistakes in the Will was dated December 16, 2009.
Tendering various documents, most of them legal papers and court briefs and motions where he was copiously authorised and mandated to draft, sign and or represent the late sage in courts and at other such important occasions, Onyemelukwe stated that he had been close to Ojukwu since his return from exile in Ivory Coast many years ago. He said virtually all Ojukwu’s legal papers remain in his custody till date, including those of property and chattels willed to Emeka Jnr who now claimed he never knew him as his father’s lawyer or friend.
He described Emeka’s assertion that he did not know him as unfortunate, “even when I was the Master of Ceremony at his wedding to the daughter of Chief Cyprian Ekwensi, the late literary giant, in the early 90s”.
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