Monday, 27 October 2014
Ekene Dili Chukwu Family At War As 3rd Wife Dies Mysteriously
The late Igbo businessman, Chief Augustine Ilodibe must be turning in his grave now at the recent development in his business empire.
His family and business have been embroiled in one problem to another since his death.
First, it was the war among his wives over his will which favoured his second wife Ifeoma, from the prominent Ibeto family. Ifeoma was the only one who provided the transport magnate with a heir to his throne among the three wives. The fight over his inheritance was a bloody mess and made headlines in the tabloids.
There were threats and counter-threats and his three wives never saw eye to eye. In fact, their level of enmity was legendary. They hardly spoke to each other while the man was alive, so when he died and his will was read, the division further widened as both the first wife Catherine Uduayibo and third wife Pauline Ngozi Ilodibe (all now late) practically rejected the will as it seemed to hugely favour the second and most recognized wife, revered society matriarch, Chief Mrs. Ifeoma Stella Ilodibe. Ifeoma who bore the late transporter his first son immediately swooped into action by taking over the transport business through her son. While the daughters of the first wife acting with the authorization that their mum married the late Chief in church and so was his real legal wife seized a very sizeable chunk of the estate, principally houses and many landed properties, the third wife who also happens to be a lawyer immediately seized some of her late husband’s properties in Onitsha worth hundreds of millions of naira and started selling them outright to buyers. Most parties discarded the will as the scramble and partition for the Ilodibe empire was at a feverish peak.
Before one could say Jack, they all landed in court with a ferocious legal battle that is certain to climax at the Supreme Court.
The war became aggravated recently when the third wife of the late transport magnate, Ngozi Pauline Ilodibe died albeit mysteriously. According to family sources and neighbours in Onitsha, Anambra State, she was hale and hearty, but all of a sudden, she became ill and her sickness only got worse.
Her body rejected most of the drugs administered on her and she began to swell up. This forced her first son, Odera Ilodibe and other family members to take her to a very high profile private hospital in Enugu, where she eventually gave up. Since her death, there have been accusations and counter-accusations on what might have killed her. The first wife of the late transport magnet had died in 2011.
Her burial has been slated for the 25th of September, 2014. But there have been accusations and counter-accusations on what might have or not have killed her. From most of what we gathered in Onitsha, Ifeoma Ilodibe and her children seem not to be in the picture of all these messy accusations at all. Friends of Odera Ilodibe told this magazine that unknown to most people, there had been a very long fight between Odera’s mum, the late Pauline and the children of the first wife. So ferocious was this fight that death threats were always bandied about. The struggle for who will be in total possession of the sprawling family mansion in GRA Onitsha was the centre point as the late transport mogul had mandated that while the first wife was alive, she and her daughters would occupy a wing of the GRA mansion which also serves as the Eastern base. But he stated that after the death of the first wife, her daughter would be relocated to another of his properties in Onitsha thereby leaving the entire GRA house to his third wife, Pauline Ngozi Ilodibe. It was this part of the will that the children of the first wife vehemently rejected and decided to fight for what is rightfully theirs.
So, after the first wife died in 2011, her daughter refused the GRA mansion and Pauline in turn would have none of that. It was clash of the titans as both groups went for each other’s throat in Onitsha. Residents of Onitsha GRA told us of their constant fights which sometimes saw both factions trying to intimidate each other with law enforcement agents.
Neighbours who spoke to Global News said they were not surprised at the death of the 3rd wife Pauline. In fact, they predict that as things stand today, more heads might soon roll as the revenge song is being sung by the bereaved faction.
The burial of the 3rd wife is 25th of September
Recently, the late business mogul’s house on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, was sealed the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
It can be recalled that the deceased lived here with his wife Ifeoma during his lifetime. Even when he returned with his third wife Ngozi, she slyly reclaimed her husband’s place while the new wife was stationed in Onitsha.
AMCON was granted the order to seize all moveable and immovable assets of the deceased as a result of the accrued debts by the businessman who passed away seven years ago. Little is heard of the heir of the Ilodibe clan, Ekene jnr after he was beaten to coma by unknown men few years ago during the heat of the inheritance war.
The late chief Ilodibe during his lifetime was popular in the transport sector. He was one of the pioneers of the transport business with his Ekene Dili Chukwu transport company which own a fleet of luxury buses that travels to the south-eastern region of the country and trucks for haulage.
The transport company is a subsidiary of Ekene Dili Chukwu Group of Companies. He was heavily involved in the distribution of Mercedes Benz vehicles in the 70s. The deceased was also known for his humanitarian efforts and a lover of education. With the deteriorating state of his empire, one wonders if the aggrieved children will unite to revive what is left of their late father’s business.