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Court awards late Biafran leader’s properties to wife



An Enugu State High Court in Nigeria, presided over by Justice A.O Onovo, has dismissed, for lack of jurisdiction, a petition filed by late Dr Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu, who claimed to be the son of first of the late Biafran leader, Dim Chukwemeka Ojukwu against the widow, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu.

DDM understands Debe went to the court to challenge the legitimacy of Ikemba’s will, saying that as the first child of the deceased leader of Biafra, his name should be on his late father’s will.

Debe went on to say that Ojukwu’s will was violated and asked the court for an order prohibiting the defendant, Mrs. Bianca Odumegwu-Ojukwu from interfering in the administration of the estate of the late Ikemba, as well as a declaration that Ojukwu is dead.

The plaintiff claimed the authority of the letter of administration of the deceased Odumegwu-Ojukwu estate.

The leader of Biafra, Ojukwu, died on November 26, 2011.

His wife, Bianca, who is the first defendant in this case, as well as Mr. James Ezike, the second, who is named in Ojukwu’s will, as guardians and administrators of his estate.

Debe took the matter to court in 2013, challenging Ojukwu’s will to die, insisting that he was the first child of the deceased but he did not admit or admit it.

The issues decided by the court are: has the plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to prove that he is the son of the deceased and that the deceased knew him as such during his life and whether the will of the deceased is valid and entitled to benefit from the estate of the deceased.

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The plaintiff, Chief Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu, died in 2018 while the case was still in court, but his two daughters, Nene Grace and Obianuju Sarah, requested to be substituted in the case which despite and the lawyers defending the accused are MM. Emeka Onyemelukwe and Ngozi Abafor, who were authorized by the court.

Delivering his verdict, Justice Onovo found that out of all the evidence presented in court, the plaintiff could not prove that he was known to Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

The Court, after considering all the evidence previously presented, believes that the Will is valid in the eyes of the law.

Regarding the plaintiff’s children’s right to challenge Ojukwu’s will, the court said that “to escape his will, they must first prove that they are the grandchildren of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu and that they are entitled to those benefits.

“Since in court the plaintiff, their father, could not prove that he is the son of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, what will make the plaintiff’s children question the latter’s opinion?

“Without making it clear, they do not have any interest from their father, Chief (Dr) Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu, in the estate of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, and this statement has no basis, ” Judge Onovo said.

Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, born 4 November 1933 was a Nigerian military officer and politician who served as President of the Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970 during the Nigerian Civil War.

He previously served as military governor of the Eastern Region of Nigeria, which he declared as the independent nation of Biafra.

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