Chief Debe Odumegwu-Ojukwu, eldest son of the late Biafran warlord, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (Eze Ndigbo Gburugburu) has slammed a N100 million suit on the widow of his father, Bianca and six other members of the family.
He alleged that they prevented him from performing the dust-to-dust rites during the burial of his father, and also prevented him from managing his estate. Also joined in the legal battle are Ojukwu Transport Limited, Professor Joseph O. Ojukwu, Engineer Emmanuel N. Ojukwu, Mr. Lotanna Ojukwu, Emeka Ojukwu, Mr. Patrick Ojukwu, Mrs. Margret Mogbo, Nee Ojukwu, the Inspector-General of Police and Mr. Ibrahim Mukhtar, former Commissioner of Police Anambra State, now an Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIG.
In a sworn affidavit to enforce his fundamental human right before a Federal High Court in Lagos, Sourthwest Nigeria filed on his behalf by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, Chief Debe Ojukwu averred that he was born on 3 August, 1956 to the late Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and his late wife, Margaret.
He said his father was then an Assistant District Officer at Uti, Enugu State and his mother a primary school teacher at Uti. He claimed to be the first and the eldest surviving son of the late Odumegwu Ojukwu. He averred that after his birth, his poor mother was responsible for his welfare and upbringing from her meagre income as a school teacher.
He said he joined the police as a recruit in 1976 and through hard work he went to the University of Nigeria, Enugu, and was later called to the Nigerian Bar in 1986. However, his promising career in the Nigeria Police was abruptly truncated when Professor Joseph Okwuabudike Ojukwu, Engineer Emmanuel N. Ojukwu, Mr. Lotanna Ojukwu and Mrs. Margret Nugbo invited and begged him to come and manage the business of Ojukwu Transport Limited on their behalf despite the fact that they did not contribute anything to his upbringing.
He quoted some newspaper publications to support his claim that he is the first surviving son of the late Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, which the late Biafran warlord did not contest. The plaintiff said when his father became ill in 2010, he donated blood to him at the University Teaching Hospital, Enugu before he was flown abroad for further treatment.
Thereafter, he visited him in London with his wife and children. But upon the demise of his father on 26 November, 2011, a meeting was convened by Professor Joseph Ojukwu with a view to reaching an amicable settlement as to who should control and manage the personal property owned by Ojukwu Transport which belonged to their grandfather, Sir Louis Ojukwu and the ones belonging to their father, Emeka Ojukwu.
He said there and then, Professor Joseph Ojukwu, Engineer Emmanuel Ojukwu and Lotanna Ojukwu threatened to maim or kill him if he did not cease forthwith from interferring with the management of the property owned by Ojukwu Transport and the late Sir Louis Ojukwu. He added that they also barred him from attending the burial of his late father despite the fact that he spent over N100 million during the funeral.
He said up till today, they are still threatening him on the basis of the circumstances of his birth, claiming that he is not the legitimate son of his late father.
This, Chief Debe Ojukwu said, had caused a great distress among his peers and his business partners.
The presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang has adjourned the case till 13 December, 2012 for hearing. Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu and others mentioned in the case have not filed any defence.