From ABDULGAFAR ALABELEWE, Kaduna
Another shocker has emerged on the controversial Will of the late Biafran leader, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, as investigation revealed that the property allotted to the surprise daughter of the Ikemba was sold long before his death. Sunday Sun investigation revealed that the Jubilee Hotel located at Sabon Gari, Zaria, willed to the said surprise daughter of Chief Ojukwu, now belongs to a prominent Zaria businessman, who uses the property as foodstuff warehouse.
When our reporter visited the defunct Jubilee Hotel, part of it, which had collapsed, was fenced with roofing sheets, while the other part, which was a popular drinking joint, is now used as warehouse. However, sources close to the property told Sunday Sun that the property had ceased to be Jubilee Hotel since the 1987 Zaria crisis when the hotel was burnt, except the bar which was still in operation until about four years ago when a businessman bought the property and converted it to a warehouse.
According to our sources, “you see, this part you are seeing was burnt during the 1987 crisis in Zaria. Since then, the building has remained unattended to. But, that other side there, where they use as store now, was used as beer parlour until somebody bought the whole property.” Sunday Sun also gathered that the late Ojukwu also inherited the property from his mother, who managed the business until her death. However, the whereabouts of Tenny Haman, the surprise daughter of the late Ikemba, is not known to the people who live and do business around the defunct Jubilee Hotel.
They told Sunday Sun that they only read in newspapers that Ojukwu’s Will revealed a surprise daughter to inherit the hotel. According to the sources, “all we know is that the property had been sold about four to five years ago, even before Ojukwu died and we are sure the widow of the late Ojukwu, Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, knows about the sale of the property. “We have never heard about his daughter named in the Will, we just read on the pages of the newspapers that a strange daughter of Ojukwu from an Hausa-Fulani mother, has been given Jubilee Hotel in Zaria.
But, it is possible that such a daughter exists, because Ojukwu seemed to have strong relationship with the North, despite his strong agitation for an Igbo nation. Before he died he said his family should allow the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, to see his corpse before they bury him, and I think the Emir did. So, it is possible that the daughter does exist,” one of the sources said. However, the said owner of the property, Alhaji Umar Farouk, was not around, but his younger brother who manages his business refused to talk to the press about the property, even as he said his brother bought the place more than four years ago.
Another source close to owner of the defunct Jubilee Hotel, Alhaji Farouk, told Sunday Sun that it was a representative of Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu that negotiated on her behalf and sold the property to Alhaji Farouk. According to him, “we have been following the arguments on newspapers, but nobody has come to claim the property. All documents concerning the property are intact. So, there is a solid proof that the property was sold to Alhaji Umar Farouk,” the source stated. It would be recalled that the Will of the late Biafran General was presented to the family with his widow, Bianca, getting the lion’s share and Ojukwu’s surprise love-child, Tenny Haman, unveiled and provided for in the Will.
In the Will read by Chief Registrar of Enugu High Court, Mr. Dennis Ekoh, Ojukwu listed his children as Tenny Haman (love child), Chukwuemeka Jr, Mmegha, Okigbo, Ebele, Chineme, Afam and Nwachukwu. The Will gave the Casabianca Lodge at No. 7, Forest Crescent, GRA, Enugu, two properties at Jabi and Kuje, in the FCT, as well as all his money and personal effects to his widow. It also read that Bianca should replace Ojukwu as trustee in the family company, Ojukwu Transport Ltd., while also giving her two plots of land in his village at Nnewi, adding that if she re-marries, the land should be taken away from her.
The first son, Emeka Jr., got the family house at Nnewi, while the new daughter, Tenny Haman, got the Jubilee Hotel located in Zaria, Kaduna State. The late Biafran leader also shared other landed property in the village among all his children, even as he listed the trustees and executors of the Will to include Bianca, Emeka Jr, and Mr. James Chukwuneme.