Court hears Joyce Udensi’s suit against Probate, others September 28
An Abia State High Court sitting in Umuahia will on September 28 hear the suit filed by the former chairman of defunct Citizens International Bank, Lady Joyce Udensi Ifegwu against the probate registrar, High Court of Abia State, Okafor Dike Udensi (2nd defendant) and six others seeking to halt the issuance of letters of administration to the 2nd defendant.
The 2nd defendants is the son of the late Lord Chief Dike Udensi Ifegwu from his first wife while the other defendants in the suit are his siblings. The children of the deceased had applied to the probate for a letter of administration for the estate of their late father, who allegedly died intestate but the applicant (Lady Joyce Udensi) is challenging the move.
Joined as co-applicants in the suit are Nkechinyere Dike Udensi, Emmanuel Dike Udensi and Margaret Mmannu Dike Udensi, while the rest of the defendants are Urum Udensi Ifegwu, Okorie Udensi Ifegwu, Mrs Iheanacho Kalu Aru (nee Udensi Ifegwu), Kalu Udensi Ifegwu, Eze Osogho Udensi Ifegwu and Agwu Udensi Ifegwu.
The 1st applicant in the suit claimed that she married the deceased under the marriage act and as a result, entitled to be issued with the letter of administration by the 1st defendant (probate).
She also wants an order mandating the 2nd defendant to produce the account of their dealings with the estate of the deceased including details of proceeds from rents and sales of the estate.
According to her statement of claim, the deceased died intestate while she had married him for 35 years under the marriage act.
But in the statement of defence of the 3rd to 8th defendants, who are the deceased siblings, the 1st claimant was never married to their late brother.
The defendants said they didn’t escort their brother to carry wine or perform any traditional rites for Lady Joyce Udensi according to the tradition of her place in Delta, insisting that the marriage certificate she is presenting is forged.
“Lord Chief Dike Udensi Ifegwu, late, was never married to the 1st claimant either as alleged or at all, a position which until recently the defendants had thought to be otherwise. Rather on January 7, 1977, the deceased wedded his lawful wife, Eunice Dike Udensi Ifegwu. The said marriage of January 7, 1977 was perfomed in accordance with the customary rites of marriage in Abiriba” , they stated.