• Bianca drags Ikemba’s brothers, company to court
From GEOFREY ANYANWU, Awka
Two of the sons of the late Igbo leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu born to him by his widow, Ambassador Bianca Odumegwu Ojukwu have dragged his siblings to court over the property of Ojukwu Transport Limited (OTL) in their father’s possession. This followed alleged threat of forceful ejection from their No. 29 Oyinkan Abayomi Street, (formerly No. 29 Queens Drive), Ikoyi, Lagos residence by other directors of OTL and the letter by the agent of the company purporting to take over management of the property and others in their late father’s possession.
The duo, Afamefuna and Nwachukwu suing by their next friend and mother, Ambassador Ojukwu in a writ of summons filed by their lawyer, Chris Ezugwu of Faith Attorneys, Dolphin Estate, Lagos in a Lagos High Court in Suit No. LD/1539/12 were claiming a declaration that they “are entitled to the possession and occupation of the property known as No. 29 Oyinkan Abayomi Street, (formerly No. 29 Queens Drive) Ikoyi, Lagos, until the harmonization of the management and administration of the assets of the 1st Defendant (OTL).” Defendants in the suit are Ojukwu Transport Limited, Professor Joseph Ojukwu,
Engr. Emmanuel Ojukwu, Lotanna Putalora Ojukwu, Dr. Patrick Ojukwu, Arc. Edward Ojukwu, Lota Akajiora Ojukwu and Mr. Massey Udegbe (Doing business under the name and style, Massey Udegbe & Company). Also in their claim are “A declaration that the threat of forceful ejection of the claimants from No. 29 Oyinkan Abayomi Street, Ikoyi, Lagos by the defendants is illegal. A declaration that the claimants are entitled to the possession of properties known as: (a) No. 13, Hawksworth Road, Ikoyi (now known as No. 13 Ojora Road, Ikoyi). (b) No. 32A, Commercial Avenue, Yaba, Lagos. (c) No. 30 Gerard Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
(d) No. 4 Macpherson Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos; which properties had been under the possession of late Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu – the father of the claimants from the time the properties were released from government acquisition till date. “An order of court restraining the defendants either by themselves, or through their agents or privies from interfering with the claimants’ possession and control of No. 29, Oyinkan Abayomi Street (formerly No. 29 Queens Drive), Ikoyi, Lagos and an order of court restraining the defendants, their agents or privies or assigns from interfering with the claimants’ possession and control of the properties referred to in paragraph ‘three’ above.”
In a 33-paragraph statement of claim by the claimants, Afamefuna and Nwachukwu, which was confirmed in a 35-paragraph statement on oath of claimants’ witness (Bianca), they averred that their father, the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu was the son of the late Sir Louis Ojukwu, the founder of the 1st defendant, OTL and that “the late Sir Louis Ojukwu, the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Bethram Chukwuemeka Obi and the 2nd defendant (Prof. Ojukwu) are the foundation directors and shareholders of the 1st defendant.
They claimed that OTL over the years acquired 14 landed property in Lagos and one Port Harcourt, which were at a time compulsorily acquired by the Federal Government but later released to it following the struggle for the release of the property from acquisition by their father, the late Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu. Furthermore, OTL they claimed acquired eight landed property in the course of its operations over the years, seven in Onitsha and one in Lagos, stressing: “The several landed properties of the 1st defendant enumerated in paragraphs 10 and 11 above and numbering about 25 were separately occupied and/or managed by the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants each of whom assumed possession and control of at least five of such properties.”
They averred that throughout the period their father was “struggling with government for the release of the properties subject matter of this suit and other properties now being controlled by the 2nd – 7th defendants from acquisition, the 2nd – 7th defendants never played any role in the struggle nor contributed financially or otherwise to the realisation of the struggle.”
However, when contacted, the defendants in the suit declined comment but disclosed that their lawyers were on the matter and would make their response known soon. It could be recalled that the late Ikemba had in his will read last week appointed his widow, Ambassador Odumegwu Ojukwu to represent him or appoint who would represent him on the board of OTL, just as he advised in the will that the landed property of OTL except Nnewi Building be shared among directors of the company appropriately.