When details of Ojukwu’s will emerged, even his favourite wife, Bianca, was shocked to learn that the late Ikemba had a secret love child identified by him as Tenny.
According to investigations by Sunday Trust, “Tenny Hamman, as Ojukwu called her, was raised in Kaduna by former Deputy Inspector General of Police Hamman Maiduguri as his own “daughter”. Although she was formally named Aisha (the name she used in school), she is also called Tani (or Aunty Tani by younger relatives). Tani is a traditional Hausa name given to a female born on Monday. Apparently the name Tenny (or Tenni) that Ojukwu called her is the corrupted version of Tani.
“Late Hamman Maiduguri was a top police officer who spent a significant part of his life in Kaduna. He hailed from the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, Borno State capital. He was appointed Northern Region’s commissioner of police after the death of the region’s Premier Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto. He later became the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) during the regime of General Yakubu Gowon, the man who led the crushing of Ojukwu’s Republic of Biafra.”
The Sunday publication also revealed that Tenny or Aisha also worked in the Presidency during the Abacha regime.
Sources told Sunday Trust that Ojukwu met Tenny’s mother when he was a military officer in the North. He was in charge of 5th Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Kano, where he was also friends with the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, before he was appointed the Governor of the Eastern Region following the first military coup in 1966.
Apparently, throughout the crisis surrounding the coup and counter-coup of July 1966 and the subsequent civil war that followed them as a result of Ojukwu’s declaration of Biafran independence, Ojukwu and his ex-lover kept the issue of their love child secret.
But as little Tenny grew up, there appeared to be some people who had suspected a link between her mother and Ojukwu.
Sources told Sunday Trust that there was a time when Tenny’s school mates at Queen’s Amina College, Kaduna, spread “gossips” that she was Ojukwu’s daughter. At the college, Tenny was said to be a tough girl and a bully. But when one slim girl called her Ojukwu’s daughter, she broke down in tears.
“Her mates were surprised that she could also be very weak,” the source said.
One of her classmates also told Sunday Trust that Tenny — known in the college as Aisha Hamman — was always uncomfortable with claims that she was Ojukwu’s daughter.
Another said, although she could be nice, she doesn’t tolerate nonsense. “We once fought in the school,” she told Sunday Trust in confidence. “Since then I have not been close to her. She didn’t even attend my marriage”.
They were 30 in their Queen’s Amina College class and they finished in 1978. It is unclear what other academic attainments Tenny got, but her college classmates said she at one time lived in the United States.
Another source also said she had worked at the presidency during General Sani Abacha’s regime.