Paternity controversy: Let' go for DNA test, Ojukwu's look- alike son Debe insists
Chief Sylvester Debe Ojukwu, the eldest son of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, has declared that a DNA test will remove whatever doubts that may exist about his relationship with the deceased.
Debe who was not mentioned in the late Ojukwu's Will that was read last month in Enugu dismissed it as a concoction that would not go unchallenged.
'If they claim I am not his child, then the correct test to determine all that is a DNA. This is not something anybody can wish away,' he told The Nation on Saturday.
In the interview published on pages 20, 21 and 46 in this edition added: 'The Will they read would have been sacrosanct if it mentioned my name but that nothing was given to me. So, for it (Will) not to mention my name, means it was fake and somebody has to prove to me that it was the original Will of my father.
'That I was barred from performing 'dust-to-dust' was discriminatory and it is against Section 42 of the Nigerian Constitution, which says that no child should be discriminated against on the basis of circumstance of birth.
'They said there was a DNA test, but the lawyer who wrote his Will claimed that he did not see me. According to him, when he came back in 1982, I appeared and disappeared for 30 years. The lawyer who said he wrote the Will said that.
'The so called DNA test was said to have been done in secret. But how can a DNA test be done in secret? A DNA is usually done and made public. I doubt strongly if this was so. Everything is a grand conspiracy.
'For anyone to go a mile extra to say my name is not in the Will is not something that will go unchallenged.
'I am one person who believes in the truth. And for me, if you err and recognise the fact that you erred and you are ready to show remorse, there is no reason why forgiveness should not come. But when you try to grandstand, there can be no settlement in sight.
'Will, Will, Will, that was not my father's Will. He did not write that Will. All the things that have been written are within the realm of speculations.
'The media have been writing without seeing the Will. I took pains to get the Will because it concerns me. I am giving you a copy of what they said is the Will so that the public can get educated. It is not my father's Will. It was forged. You can see the signatures are different.
'The signature on the Will is not that of my father. I am a trained police officer. You can take a look at the letters he had written to me and other documents I showed you. The signature on it is different from that which is on the Will. I know what I am talking about. His true signature is in the archives of the Federal High Court. And my father that you are talking about was a former Military Governor of the Eastern Region. He signed edicts, laws. So, his signature is within the domain of public records.
'And because I knew him, he was not the type of person that took rubbish. They went and forged the signature. If you check all the documents, you will find out that the signatures on them do not correspond with that on the will. My father was such a person that when he signed a document, it was like Ikemba. And Ikemba moved straight. Ikemba moved like lightening. If you see his signature, it is deliberate. It is never shaky.
'I am his clone. He did not do anything without me.
'My uncles came to the police and entreated me to come and manage my grandfather's assets. My grandfather had acquired certain things in terms of estate. And I was told that the things he gathered were perishing.
'They used that and entreated me. They asked me to leave the police to manage the assets. I felt it was right. I cannot keep on gathering when the ones my patriarch had gathered were wasting away. So, I had to go and manage them. At the time they asked me to manage them, there was no hope and my uncles were quarrelling with my father. In the interest of peace, because they told me that they needed everything to be together just as the old man had it when he was alive. I left to do just that without even knowing where I was going. But God being on my side, what I went into blind-folded became a success story and became very substantial. It is on the basis of all these, that they are fighting me and you see my name allegedly missing in the Will.
'My exclusion from my father's Will does not smack of my rejection legally. As a lawyer, I know that you have the power to Will your property to anybody legally. But being a son or a daughter to someone is more sacrosanct, and so it is. It is not something you can wish away. It is so natural.
'So, a man's exclusion from a Will is as far as property goes. And with regards to disinheritance, the law provides that if you want to disinherit your son or daughter, you must state in black and white that you are disinheriting your son. And since the Will did not state that I was being disinherited, there is nothing like disinheritance. What has happened is what could be regarded as an unmentioned child. That is the position of the law. So, that is the way it is.
'If you go to people like Chief Sunny Odogwu, Chief S.N. Okeke and the rest of the elders who were his friends, who had been with my father and me, they know my relationship with him as a son.
'Why are you (The Nation's team) here today to interview me? You are here because you have seen a trace of him in me.' (Credit: THE NATION)