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Ibru’s Burden Of Riches : Sixteen Children Fight Over Property, Paternity


The Oasis Reporters

February 21, 2017

Olorogun Michael Ibru
Photo : The Will

The last time Delta State witnessed a massive squabbling over the administration of the estate of a deceased patriarch, it was the children of Chief Okotie Eboh, Nigeria’s first Finance Minister who was a multi millionaire before the country’s pre independence government and used to lend the new government of Prime minister Tafawa Balewa money.
He was unfortunately killed in the first Nigerian coup d’etat because the coupists tainted him with ubiquitous corruption, forgetting that he was a self made man before joining politics.
The Okotie Eboh clan is still embroiled in legal tussles till date, fifty one years after his demise.

The next big case is that of
sixteen of the children of frontline businessman, the late Chief Olorogun Michael Ibru, currently embroiled in a legal tussle over their paternity and his multi-billion naira assets.

This is as Oboden Ibru has approached the Igbosere High Court, Lagos for a declaration, among others, that he and his 15 other siblings are entitled to the estate of their father.

In a counter-claim, however, one of the deceased’s daughters, Janet Ibru, prayed the court to declare that only persons whose paternity are confirmed by a diagnostics centre in the United States are entitled to an equal share of the estate.

Oboden’s suit was filed on February 8 by Chief Bolaji Ayorinde SAN but has not been assigned to a Judge.

The defendants are: Oscar Ibru, Peter Ibru, Emmanuel Ibru, Gloria Ibru, Elaine Ibru-Mukoro, Elvina Ibru, Mamemo Ibru, Janet Ibru, Obaro Ibru, Vivi Ibru-Stankov, Edesiri Ibru, Christiana Ibru, Jero Ibru, Vikwesiri Ibru, Gabriel Ibru and the Probate Registrar, High Court of Lagos State.

The claimant is seeking an order declaring that a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, of January 2, 2001 is valid as to the distribution by way of gift of the late Ibru’s assets to both “Ovuone” and “Ivetu” .

He asked the court to declare that the properties listed in the MoU belong in their entirety to “Ovuone” being gifted jointly and several times to “Ovuone” in the lifetime of the late Chief Ibru.

Such properties include: No. 1, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos; 47, Marine Road, Apapa; 49, Marine Road, Apapa; 52, Marine Road, Apapa; 5,7,9 Emotan Road, Apapa; 3,5,7 Ladipo Oluwole, Apapa; Daska House; Blomfield Court; 33, Michael Ibru Boulevard; 6, Louis Solomon Close, Victoria Island, Lagos and 5/7, Queens Barracks Road, Lagos.

Others are No. 20, Queens Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos; 6, Kensington Park Gardens, London; Starcross Farm; Hillcrest Apartment; Zabadne Plot, Abuja; Maitama Plots, Abuja; Maroko Plots, Lagos; 7, Randle Close, Apapa, Lagos; all shares in Oceanic Bank; Oteri Holdings Limited’s shares in Minet Nigeria Limited; Oteri’s shares in Ibachem and the portion of Ibafon land occupied by Ibachem and Ovwian land.

The claimant is also seeking a declaration that the judgment delivered by Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court, Lagos on April 17, 2014 remains valid and subsisting, having not been set aside by any court of competent jurisdiction.

Oboden is also asking for an order appointing himself, seventh defendant, Christiana, first defendant, Oskar and eighth defendant, Jero, as administrators of the Ibru estate and an order directing them to apply to the 16th defendant for the grant of letters of administration for the estate.

An order of the court appointing Messrs. PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited to conduct a forensic audit of the shareholdings and assets, whether real or personal, belonging to the estate of the late Ibru in Oteri Holdings and any other company in Nigeria.

The audit, was also prayed, to be conducted on anywhere such assets may be located, discovered or found in the world and submit such report to the Registrar of the court within 90 days of the order and the cost of such exercise to be borne by the administrators so appointed herein.

This case with it’s paternity suit angle is following the script of the Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola scenario, who was the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, nullified by then military ruler, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida.
His military successor, General Sani Abacha jailed Chief Abiola and after the death of Abacha, Abiola was said to have died while drinking tea provided for him by the government of the succeeding military government of General Abdulsalami Abubakar in the presence of international diplomats.

Unknown to his numerous children, he had deposited a Will with his lawyers that all his children except the ones by his first wife, Atinuke, must undergo DNA tests before partaking in the Inheritance he left behind.

The Ibru clan has just taken it’s first step.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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