Ojukwu’s Transport Company rejects Bianca as Trustee | Ojukwu Jnr. Takes Over Father’s House

Posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 at 9:09 AM

By Adeola Adeyemo

The Will of the late Biafran leader,  Chukwuemeka Odimegwu-Ojukwu, has been followed with a number of  counter claims as more and more parties disagree with some of its content.

As part of her inheritance stated in the Will, Ojukwu’s widow, Bianca Odimegwu-Ojukwu, is to replace her late husband as the trustee in the family company, Ojukwu Transport Company Ltd. 

However, a director of the company, Ifeukwu Ojukwu, has said Bianca has no place on the directorship or trusteeship of the company. He told Punch yesterday that since the company was owned by the late Sir Louis Odumegwu-Ojukwu, the late Biafran warlord could not dictate who the trustees or directors of the company should be.

He said “Bianca is 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 Ojukwu had and the directorship cannot be transferred through a Will.”

This statement by Ifeukwu, who is based in Boston, United States was made after a counsel for the late Ojukwu, Emeka Onyemelukwe, insisted that the Will read last Friday at the Enugu State High Court Registrar was authentic and sacrosanct.

He was reacting to a claim by one of Ojukwu’s children, Emeka Ojukwu Jnr. who said that the Will was manipulated. Onyemelukwe argued that he had been close to the late Ojukwu since his return from exile in Cote d’Ivoire in 1982. He also said that all Ojukwu’s legal papers were still with him, including those of properties and chattels willed to Emeka Jnr, who claimed he did not know him as his father’s lawyer or friend.

Meanwhile, Ojukwu Jnr. has taken over his father’s residence in Nnewi, “according to the Igbo tradition that the first son would inherit his father’s house and compound on the event of his death.” Ojukwu (Jnr.) said even if the Will had not covered the Nnewi residence, it was traditionally statutory that the first son inherits his father’s house.

What are your thoughts on the emerging drama following the reading of the Will?

This also brings another topic to the table. What do you think of the Igbo tradition (which is also practised in other Nigerian tribes) of the first son inheriting the father’s house on the event of his death? In Bianca’s case, she does have other options for herself and her children. But not all women do. Do you think this practice is fair to widows?

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  • 49 Comments on “Ojukwu’s Transport Company rejects Bianca as Trustee | Ojukwu Jnr. Takes Over Father’s House”

    Comments
    • mm December 4, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      my dear go and sleep…is it only in igbo tradition that the first son inherits his father’s property? im not igbo but im tired of this igbo vs yoruba saga!!! habba its overbeaten.

      • Ginika December 4, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Nne abi Nna, come o, where did you see Igbo vs Yoruba? Are we reading the same article?

      • tosin o December 19, 2012 at 1:38 PM

        mm … try reading all of an article before emerging with your inner insecurities as fact…. The statement was “What do you think of the Igbo tradition (which is also practiced in other Nigerian tribes) ” Do you see it now?….ok thanks

    • nana December 4, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      I really do not get this. Bianca is not dead, so why is his son in charge of of his father’s house ?? does he not have a home for himself ? COMPLETE HORSES SHIT, that’s what it is.
      shameless man. It’s now “tradition” is being remembered .

      • Tracey December 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM

        Did you read the article where Ojukwu’s will was read? ….I don’t think so, ‘cos if you did you’ll see it was written there that the 1st son will inherit the house at Nnewi. And of course coupled with the fact that it is indeed as tradition requires

        But it’s complicated here ‘cos Bianca isn’t his mother. Had they all been in harmony with themselves, then Bianca (even though not his mum) would have still been living there as part of the family. The first son will just act as the physical overseer and representative of the family to kins men. But heck! since they aren’t very paddy paddy, it’s no suprise she may be expectec or willingly want to move out of the that house sooner or later for peace’s sake.
        If she hasn’t already moved, that is

    • Larry Raph December 4, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      I wonder what the grown up children want to do with their late father’s property instead for them to struggle and have their own…what a life and for Bianca i thought she is an ambassador at present …the question is Does it mean she married to Ikemba just because of the late man’s riches or what..? she shouldn’t be there to cause commotion for the entire family after all she’s well to do too and she can even remarry as she’s still young

    • Kanyinulia December 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      The first son inherits the father’s house which is certain..but its best advised that a man should marry only one wife, if you’ll marry another, build a house for her.

    • ij December 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

      what is all this first son this and first son that ? it really annoys the hell out of me .
      The man has shared his property according to how he feels he should , obviously the bulk has gone to the younger members of his family who still have a long way to go and need all the support the other members of his family have had .
      The Emeka jnr most likely has had the best education and multiple opportunities to make his own fortune .
      Instead of complaining like a little girl,He should face his family and move forward with his life , then while he is at it think about loosing some weight or else he wont be around for long to enjoy this property he is fighting for

    • igbo canadian December 4, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      if ojukwu’s son was doing well there will be no need to struggle for property. He should go and make his own and respect his father’s wishes ah ah! Why so shameless?

      • Igbo Eyonda December 4, 2012 at 8:31 PM

        Inheritance pass inheritance..abeg relax

    • DORYS December 4, 2012 at 10:16 AM

      He should be ashamed of himself,fighting for his father’s property.where was he wen bianca was taking care of him,where was he wen she was rejected by her family cos she married him and besides, bianca on her own is from a very rich family her father owns almost half of Enugu .so he should cool down and accept the will

    • sadiq December 4, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      They sud leave Bianca alone. Late Ojukwu undastands why he drafted his will d way he drafted. No distortion pls.

    • oluchy December 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      These are people that were unheard of when Ojukwu was alive now they all come to inherit. The son is really something else, can’t he show that he is his father’s son by working hard to get his own riches. Please they should all leave Bianca alone, she has children for him n they also need to be taken care of. l pray they settle their differences soon and stop rubbishing Ojukwu’s image.

    • Eug December 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      I’m assuming that Ojukwu gave his children, particularly his first son the best legacy any good father would bequeath his – sound education. With that he should be able to build a business empire even greater than what his father ever had. If he had any sense, he would take whatever his father left him in his will and focus on continuing from where Ojukwu snr left off, not fighting his father’s widow over property.

    • C S December 4, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      The first son inherits his father’s house/residence does not mean that Bianca will be pushed away from the home. Even Bianca herself understands the tradition. Please my people is she complaining?

    • phummie December 4, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      All these could just be an act to get back @ d woman that came from nowwhere to marry their father…….Jealousy. He probably doesnt need all dis drama. Na wa o. Morale of it all…..1 man 1 woman is the way to go honestly and family planning…..lol.

    • Onyi December 4, 2012 at 11:06 AM

      U guys shud talk abt wat u know and try as much as possible to think objectively on an issue. I AM AN IGBO and everybdy on this page belongs to one tribe or the other and every tribe practice one tradition or the other that bounds us as a tribe no matter how u want to check it off. Igbo traditio requires that the first son/heir inherits the father’s main house in the village (obi) and NOT ALL HIS PROPERTIES . In the case that the father has more than one son, he has to share his lands in the village among them so that they will have their own (obi) to continue their own lineage AND THAT includes the sons of the all the wives in the case of polygamous family AND THE WIFE or WIVES as the case may be are expcted to live in that house (Obi) until their demise without any interruption. in the case of Bianca (she is trying to potray the face of the bereaved widow) who practically stopd the sons of the late warlord from perfroming the funeral rites of their own father bcos she has the political connections and backing of the president, i remember it was nt up to two months b4 she wz made an Ambassador (An nt saying it is a bad thin afterall, i love women dat can hold their own) BUT to the Igboland, Ojukwu represents a legend and she (as the wife) must do everything to ensure the protection of dat name and not to wash their dirty linens in public. Where hv u heard the situation of reading a will without all the children and trustees present? Nobody here can vouch that the will read is the original one or that the WILL with the son is the original one…Only God can judge that…I am nt supporting anydy (Ojukwu’s son or bianca) bt at the end of the day, the bigger power will prevail, i just want to clear a few issues abt the sons and widow issue.

      • NIRA December 4, 2012 at 4:44 PM

        I really hope you know the family real close, before making these accusations. Who said Bianca prevented Ojukwu’s son from performing the funeral rites? That was between Ojukwu’s legitimate first son, and the supposedly illegitimate son, who claims he’s the first son. Bianca is not washing any dirty linen in public, rather Ojukwu’s sons are the ones contesting the will. Do you know why it took this long for the will to be read?? You talk about the trustees not being present, is it not possible that they refused to show up??

    • Traditionalbay December 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      Taaaaaaaaah! mumu tradition i call it. things had been allotted to every one involved. it is the loin share these shameless sons wants. even Bianca will not live in the said house. for all i care they should even claim their fathers slippers! nkpii (he goats)

    • signature December 4, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      hm! i just thank God this woman has something beyond decent to do for a living, if not! she would have been anodr case of abused widow in igbo land!…its jst unfortunate that a grown man feels entitled to something he did not even labor one day for and is not ashamed to drag it in front of the world….i hope this gets sorted out sha, but its really a damn shame.

    • Aibee December 4, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      I’m not particularly interested in how they share Ojukwu’s property. It’s their family business. But please permit me to share my thooghts on the fairness of the first son inheriting his father’s house. By the way, I’m not Igbo, I’m yoruba so my igbo BellaNaijarians, feel free to correct me.
      From my brief readings, in igbo culture, the father’s house – traditionally known as the ‘Obi’ is the seat of the household gods and it is where the father of the house holds court. His wife(s) does not sleep in the obi with her husband but she has her own hut. The obi is passed down from father to first son because the first son automatically becomes the head of the family and home upon the father’s death. We must bear in mind that traditionally, the igbos lived in clans and compounds thus a man would have a large compound where his sons could build their homes and upon his death, the first son inherits the home. The first son is meant to take care of the home, the wife(s) and children of the deceased and perform sacrifices to the family gods. No child or wife of the deceased was ever turned away/out of the family compound, rather the men took care of the women and children till the wives remarried or died and the children grew into adulthood. If the deceased’s first son was still young, his uncles took care of the obi till he was old enough to take on the responsibility. If he had no sons, the uncles took care of his wives and daughters till they children were married into other families. Please remember that this was in the days when people were honest and any brother or uncle who got greedy faced public ridicule and shame.
      Similarly, in Yoruba tradition, if a man died, his brothers ‘inherited’ his wife and children and took care of his properties till his children were old enough to take care of their inheritance. The next oldest brother of the deceased married his wife and ‘lifted the veil of widowhood’ (‘supo’ in Yoruba) from her. Of course the wife was free to refuse to marry her late husband’s brother. She could return to her own parent’s home but her children belonged with their father’s relatives.
      The rationale behind this is similar, in my mind, to God saying in the Old Testament that if a man died without leaving sons. his brother should ” go in to his wife” and bear sons for his brother so that the lineage will not be wiped out.

      Please remember that when this traditions were instituted, people were often honest and even if a man married 20 wives, they were all his wives and the children were considered blood and were not mistreated by greedy uncles and relatives. Societal norms and mores back then frowned on greed and avarice and severely punished same. But our values have changed and so the question of whether these traditions are still applicable today is one I leave for other BellaNaijarians who may be wiser than me.

      • Ishmael nwaochee December 4, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        This your explanation goes to show that all our traditions are basically the same but bear different names. In igbo the brothers do have option to marry the brothers widow, and take his brothers children as his, the children call him father, just as they will call their father. In the olden days, the reason kinsmen go to accompany a man to marry is a show soldiarity and she becomes “our wife,” not just his wife. Its sad adaptation of western culture have ruined some of the most important part of our cultures.

      • Anon December 5, 2012 at 3:34 AM

        In what day and age? Your explanation is outdated sorry. It doesn’t apply in present day Igboland.

    • Iris December 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      *sigh* and so it begins. Seriously, this “my father’s” this and that is exhausting. If people focused on trying their best to make their own money instead of waiting for a relative to die so they could pounce, Nigeria would be a better place.

    • mikel December 4, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      Well for me as an igbo man,i only know dat the first son get his father`s house in the village if the father is late,and dats wat i know for certain,apart from dat ojukwu supposed to ve built another house for his second wife in the village,dats the way it goes.

      • Onye Igbo December 4, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        You spoke right! ……By Igbo Tradition, Ojukwu’s first son should inherit his father’s family house. But then Ojukwu ought to have built a house for the 2nd wife.
        BUT! remember that Ojukwu’s 1st wife, and mother to the 1st son was no longer married to Ojukwu long before he married Bianca. So there was no room to build a separate house for Bianca ‘ cos he lived with her till he passed on.

        However, that is why the will is fair because he has willed 2 plots of land for her in the village. I guess it’s for her to build a hosue for her self then…..but if she re-marries, then the land should be taken away from her ‘cos she will have no use for it then, as she would be be living at the current husband’s residence. So I see no need to disagree over who gets the house or not

        • Ishmael nwaochee December 4, 2012 at 4:12 PM

          I think you are wrong about why the two plots of land is willed to her, have you forgotten she has two sons, like i said as some tradiotions in certain clans dictate if she remarries into another family that isnt her husband’s kinship, her young children can go with her so forfitting her childrens inheritance, that is why most igbo widows in certain clans dont remarry into another family because of that clause in most igbo clans. But if she remarries within the family then everything stay normal and she forfits nothing.

        • Onye Igbo December 4, 2012 at 8:24 PM

          @ Ishmael: you are wrong! please go back to the previous post by Bella naija where Ojukwu’s will was read, plus other news publications, you will see that he willed two plots of land to Bianca at the village, and he added that if she re-marries the land should be taken away from her. This is aside from the other plots of land he willed to all his children including Bianca’s children of course.

          So what are you talking about? whether or not she re-marries has absolutely nothing to do with the sons she had for Ojukwu and will not NOT in any way affect the land or any property their father had willed to them. Moreso, it was not indicated Ojukwu’s will! so who is the person that will come and take the land their father willed to them simply because their mum re-married? that is rubbish! and certainly not an Igbo culture…..not sure which culture you are talking about, but certainly not when a will have been written in black and white. I’m not even sure you have read the said will, you sound mis-informed

        • Onye Igbo December 4, 2012 at 8:34 PM

          And…..Ojukwu was a very smart man. He knew that after his first son inherits his village house, and he not being in very good terms with Bianca could frustrate her stay in that house. He knew that Bianca may willfully choose to move out from there for her peace’s sake. So this might be his intention for giving her a separate two plots of land in the village so she can peacfully live in the village (that is if she didn’t re-marry). But if she re-marries, it does not matter wheather she has built on the land, she has to give it up ‘cos the will stated in balck and white that she will give it up the land then…..it didn’t give any condition that if she builds on it and re-marries, then she can still keep it

    • Idak December 4, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      A LESSON TO FELLOW MEN;
      Try and spread your seeds within the womb of one woman.
      All these acts of spreading semen like water sprinkler into every receptacle available is just not it. I just don’t care how famous or rich you are.
      I know you have examples of kids from same mother who have gone crazy over sharing of properties after dad’s demise (e.g. FRA sons) but is more of an exception than the norm.
      Adultery is bad enough, try and use protection if you must.

    • Prince Onochie 1 December 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      wonders shall never end! I know ojukwu, he was great man, a colossus and a hero. During his days as a youth. He left his dad’s wealth and worked for his own. Then he became somthing, a hero, legend and a mighty man. Son(Emeka Jnr) why? Ur tanishing the image of our father. If I were u, I would not have time for already made. U can be far better than my father(Emeka Snr). My mother(Bianca), well, u are still young off course but I advice u not to remarry if truely u loved my father. U are the only well known wife of my father, u are in indeed living Heroine. They want to frustrate u. Say no to them. Dont fight them nor exchange words with them. Mummy chill, Daddy will soon intervain. Nigerians(Igbo, Housa, Yoruba) talk less 4 ur own good. Stop castigating pls.

      • Truth teller December 4, 2012 at 3:19 PM

        She should not re-marry? Haba, pls let’s get serious and real. Not that I’m keen for her to, but in reality….she is still very young and the odds are greater that she will be very lonely as time goes on. What I can support is for her to wait a while before she re-marries if she is considering to, as a mark of respect for the memory of Ojukwu. It’s hard to say, but with time if she eventually remarries for companionship, it does not mean by any means that she loved Ojukwu any less.

        Would you rather like to hear in subsequent years that she started cavorting all over the place with different men?

      • Idak December 4, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        Not very true.
        Ojukwu cornered most of his late dad’s empire and left most of his siblings in the cold.

        • Idak December 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM

          Out in the cold i meant.

    • pynk December 4, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      They say not to speak ill of the dead, but men pls why do some men just create messy environments for everyone? i mean seriously.

      • Idak December 4, 2012 at 5:54 PM

        They think they are studs!!

      • Anon December 5, 2012 at 3:38 AM

        When a curse is operating in a family, it continues until it’s broken. Same issue he had in his lifetime is the same those he left behind are dealing with after his death.

    • not sure December 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      Ima not familar with Igbo Tradition or any other for that matter but doesn’t Law over ride Tradition? If this is his last will and testament bound by Law why can’t this be followed?

    • buchi December 4, 2012 at 3:26 PM

      PEOPLE, HE IS TAKING THE HOUSE IN HIS VILLAGE NNEWI.
      Bianca takes the casa Bianca Lodge in Enugu. Fair enough if u ask me… The article did not state that she was pushed out of any home or that Ojukwu jr ‘forcefully n wrongly’ claimed the roof over bianca’s head. Pls read n understand….

    • Concerned Native December 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      The practice is fair, bianca is lucky she got anything, its not only the igbos that do this inheritance to first son thing, urhobos and efik do it too… its just that igbo is a larger tribe that you hear it. I personally believe she had the will altered to benefit her, and its sad she didnt do her research to know that there is a clause avout positions in otl, which supercedes anything ikemba wills, she is not a blood ojukwu, so cannot inherit any otl position. As a lawyer and former detective i take her ” he did not disappoint us this time” to mean that there was an original will that wasnt in her favor. Its deductive reasoning. It goes to show that mostly all we see in nollywood movies do happen.

    • Ishmael nwaochee December 4, 2012 at 4:05 PM

      For all of you not knowing anything about igbo traditions and just shooting your mouth about tradition as a whole, just know tradition is the root most displaced africans in the diaspora seek to find a connection to their past. Tradition is what permits you to have native names, food and speak your native tongues. Traditions are the backbones that we must nurture so that in our old age we dont end up counting our teeth. You my dears are all fruits of tradition of the joining of a woman and a man, so when you say forget tradition, then you are saying to forget yourselves and your futures. As for if the what a widow gets its right, i think it depends on the type of woman and clan. Sometimes women are allowed to marry and sometimes especially if they have a son it is suggested against, for in some clans once a woman remarries with a young son or daughter, her child can become her new husbands, so it depends on the clan. But in most cultures no matter the tribe, first sons take their father’s house and if the father didnt have a will, will be instructed to share his father’s properties fairly amongst his syblings. Sometimes female children dont get anything at all, because they are expected to marry and leave their father’s house but again depends on the clan. If anyone knows the story of bianca and ikemba will know she married him for love, especially after her father disowned her for marrying his friend. But also an educated igbo woman is a dangerous specie for she will make sure she uses the law to her advantage and not let her husband’s people over power her. Bianca has gone against tradition so many times that it has become a norm for her. I mean she went against tradition by not letting the first son bury his father correctly as igbo traditions dictates, and now people expect her to do their right thing when it comes to the will? una dey make me laugh. All I can say is let the drama begin.

    • her royalmajesty December 4, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      family issues should pls remain family issues, they all have dsame blood of the legend flowing in them so they should be able to settle

    • NIRA December 4, 2012 at 4:52 PM

      @onyi,I really hope you know the family real close, before making these accusations. Who said Bianca prevented Ojukwu’s son from performing the funeral rites? That was between Ojukwu’s legitimate first son, and the supposedly illegitimate son, who claims he’s the first son. Bianca is not washing any dirty linen in public, rather Ojukwu’s sons are the ones contesting the will. Do you know why it took this long for the will to be read?? You talk about the trustees not being present, is it not possible that they refused to show up?? His children are just embarrassing themselves. @ Pynk, what mess did Ojukwu leave behind? He lest a will, that was meant to make things easy, but his children are greedy, they should go and make their own money, afterall they did not make a vow of “for better for worse” or “what i have is thine” with him, Bianca did!!!

    • NIRA December 4, 2012 at 4:53 PM

      *left a will

    • traditional chic December 4, 2012 at 6:35 PM

      The man has elected to be governed by the tradition of his fore fathers. If that is what that tradition says, then Bianca has to move out. Any woman who marries a much older, accompalished man who values the traditions of his fore fathers has to enjoy him while he is alive. Which isn’t that hard since most women that go for much older men, no matter how innocent they may appear, tend to go for men in much better economic circumstances than they are.

    • Jedi December 4, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      can someone pls refill my slush and get me more popcorn? thanks

    • stellamwindsor December 4, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      under the law (wills act 1837)which i believe nigeria is using, the only time you can contest/apply for a change in the will(after it is read) is if the applicants were financially dependant on the deceased before his death and where he or she has made no or insuffient provisions for them. in this situation ojukwus elder children have been independent of themselves long before their father died neither did they depend on him financially. the courts wud consider if the applicant(s) wud be left vunerable regarding the provisions of the will. bianca and her kids r the only ones who wud actually be left vulnerable if dey hadnt been provided for. ojukwus elder children are just being unnecessarily greedy and annoying. they have their own wealth i believe or dey shud work for their own if dey dnt hv. case closed.

    • NNENNE December 5, 2012 at 2:41 AM

      LESSONS LERNED:
      Young ,unmarried girls , please go for young people like you…hardworking, with numerous potentials. There is no paradise on earth. Most girls who start off with older accomplished men, thinking they will not suffer, end up suffering even more. Do your thing, girls and be proud of what you can accomplish. NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM YOU OR LOOK DOWN ON YOU. Not even your spouse.

    • okoro December 8, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      I am an igbo man but the issue here is not about the first son dragging properties is about making sure no body manipulated their fathers WILL . even if Emeka jr have the whole money in the world he have the right to make sure that his fathers Will is authentic and the issue of getting the house in the village it is his right as the first son in igbo land but that dose not mean his step mother and siblings will be pushed out never, they will and must be in their fathers house until when they are capable of building their own home that is igbo tradition . in my own point of view there is some questionable acts in the so called WILL reading. no body should question a dead man Will about who get what but it should be proved that the Will is not manipulated which i think emeka is fighting for. so anybody commenting about igbo tradition should stop it and mind his business our tradition and culture is our identity every were in the world have their tradition and if you think ours is not good then keep it to your self thank you.