Court awards Ojukwu’s will to Bianca, strikes out Debe’s suit

Justice A.O Onovo, presiding over the Enugu State High Court, dismissed a suit brought by the late Debe Odumegwu Ojukwu against Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, widow of the late Dim Chukwemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.

Debe had claimed to be the first son of the late Ikemba Nnewi.

In a judgment that lasted over two hours, delivered on Wednesday, Justice Onovo ruled the suit lacked merit. He emphasized that the plaintiff failed to substantiate his claim of being recognized as the late Ojukwu’s first son during the latter’s lifetime.

The judge highlighted that it is within a man’s prerogative to acknowledge a child born out of wedlock as his own. However, he noted that such acknowledgment could be inferred from a father’s actions towards the purported child, which were absent in this case.

The plaintiff had averred that he had been recognized by groups, associations and other members of society as a son of the late Dim  Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, but the Judge queried, “can Public opinion be the sole basis of determining the paternity of a child born out of wedlock? I do not think so.”

The Plaintiff also challenged the validity of the will of Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, citing some typographical errors and signatories, and seeking a declaration that Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu died intestate.

The Court after examination of all the evidence presented before held that the will and codicil were properly and validly made, and valid in the eyes of the law.

READ ALSO: NNPC CEO, Kyari calls for energy access bridge for Nigeria’s economic prosperity

On the right of the children of the Plaintiff to challenge Ojukwu’s will, the court held that “in order to have the locus to challenge the will they must first prove that they are the grandchildren of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, and entitled to the benefits accruing therefrom.

“Since in the suit initiated by the plaintiff, their father, he was unable to prove himself to be a son of the Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, then on what basis would the children of the plaintiff be challenging the will of the latter?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *