By News Express,
Less than 24 hours after it was read in the Enugu High Court in Nigeria’s South-East, the will of late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, has been dismissed as strange and unreliable by one of his closest confidants.
The name of Chief Sylvester Debe Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the 56 years old lawyer reported to be Ojukwu’s first son but who has had running battles with other family members since the old man’s death on November 26, 2011, is conspicuously missing from the will. Recognised as Ojukwu’s children in the will are Chukwuemeka Jnr, Mmegha, Okigbo, Ebele, Chineme, Afam, Nwachukwu and one Tenny Haman, who was previously unheard of.
Commenting this morning on the will, Uche Ezechukwu, Ojukwu’s biographer and one-time media aide, said: “Ojukwu’s will has been read and it gave nothing to his sons and almost everything to his widow. Is that not strange?
“Could Ojukwu, who was blind for four years before his death and had all but lost his memory, have written such a will with his senses intact? Just thinking aloud!”
Ezechukwu, a seasoned journalist and public analyst whose book ‘Ojukwu, the Rebel I Served,’ has received much praise, insisted that he knows all of Ojukwu’s children and that Sylvester is one of them.
According to the man who served as Ojukwu’s Speacial Assistant on Media for some two years: “The Ikemba had the following children: Sylvester, from an Udi woman when he was an Assistant Divisional Officer there; then Emeka Jnr, Mmegha (the first daughter) and Mr. Okigbo from Njideka (Ned Onyekwelu); Ebele from Stella (née Onyeador) and then the three kids from Bianca.”
Responding to questions and observations made by some of those who responded to his Facebook post, Ezechukwu said: “Accordingly, the will gave the family compound to Emeka. The Ikemba I knew understood Igbo culture very well and knew that you can’t will out your traditional compound as it automatically goes to the first son, who holds it in trust for the family. It continues to be held in trust by every first male child. So in practical sense, Emeka got nothing! Very abnormal!
“A man’s ancestral house is not part of the will. The first son automatically inherits it. That is the house you say he willed to Emeka. What of Okigbo and Sylvester?”
Ezechukwu, who is also Coordinator of the League of Anambra Media Professionals, advised that “the nation should get ready for perhaps the longest playing soap opera that will rubbish and dwarf all those acclaim we have had for Ojukwu.”
“I knew this rumpus would erupt and when I was writing my book on him, I dodged everything about his family,” he wrote. “I was there and knew his relationship with all his children before Bianca came. I didn’t want to become the source of the storm that started breaking even before the mourning dress was shed.”