The first son of the late leader of the defunct Biafra Republic, Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu was pronounced dead and it was confirmed by sources close to the family who said he slumped and lost consciousness last Thursday.
The deceased Ojukwu failed to regain consciousness until he was certified dead by attending doctors at a private hospital in Lagos.
A condolence register was opened by the family at his Lekki Phase 1 residence with a lot of well-wishers paying their tributes while praying for the late Ojukwu.
Ojukwu who reportedly died of diabetes at the age of 62 was the President-General of the Umudim Nnewi Union in Lagos State.
Before his death, the late Ojukwu polarized opinions within the family, especially during the furore, generated when he questioned the legality of his father’s marriage to Bianca Ojukwu.
At the heat of the controversy, Debe told the media: “As a lawyer, I would say no. Why I said no is that there are so many marriages, even when you look at Nollywood, there are many marriages every day but that does not make it legal.
“Why I am arguing this is because there was a woman my father married in a court, and that marriage was never nullified, and my training as a lawyer tells me that when there is a subsisting marriage, subsequent marriage or attempt at marriage becomes null and void.”
Before his death, Debe had a running battle with the family over his paternity.
During the burial of his late father in 2011 at Nnewi, some family members stopped Debe from active participation in the funeral at the family compound.
As a result, he relocated to a nearby house far from his ancestral house in order to host his visitors; a move that cause tension amongst the elders of the community who held the late Debe in high regard due to his position as the first son of the family.
When Ojukwu’s will was read in 2012, Debe’s name was not mentioned in the document, a situation the late Debe challenged in court, describing the will as a concocted document.
The late Debe once granted an interview claiming there were sections within the family who were trying to rob him of his rights as the first son of the family.
He once described himself as the “clone” of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Debe at several times called for a DNA test to confirm his paternity to end the entire controversy.
The interview came on the heels of the revelation that the lion’s share of the will of the late Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu had been apportioned to Bianca, the late Ikemba’s wife.
Debe was a successful businessman.