There have been more damning revelations on the present, future and previous status of the now near moribund Eastern Palm University Ogboko, which Rochas Okorocha using his present status as APC Senator is reported to be desperately doing everything possible to corner permanently and appropriate as his private owned university.
Latest reports from Government House Owerri reveal that Okorocha is moving fast at the presidency, lobbying the powers that be at Aso Rock to support his unbridled quest to finally appropriate the Ogboko university. Having met a brick wall at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and that Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Federal Minister of Education, Okorocha is reported to have lobbied the Presidents of Ghana, Liberia and others to bring pressure to bear on President Muhammadu Buhari to coerce Imo State Government into dropping its decision to recover the university for the benefit of Imolites who rightly own the property including the land upon which it was erected.
Our sources cited law No 20 of 2012, enacted by Imo State University to establish the university as second Imo State owned university. Though the law has been variously amended in 2016 and 2019 as stated by our source with changes in name and nomenclature of the university from Imo European to Eastern Palm University Ogboko, the National University Commission (NUC), we were reliably informed, had registered and recognized Eastern Palm University as the 42nd State University in Nigeria. This alone confers the total ownership of the university on Imo State government. No other state, individual or corporate establishment could have successfully laid claim to its ownership.
However, upon realizing that no Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was formally reached or documented to the effect that “Rochas Foundation”, should appropriate an equity share of 90% ownership against Imo State’s paltry 10% ownership, Okorocha attempted to foist one of his cronnies as governor of Imo State, so as to perfect ownership of the university at his exit.
Okorocha had started the construction work at the site in 2012 using state funds, when he proposed moving the permanent site of IMSU to Ogboko and seconding staff of the Ministry of Education and Imo State University to manage the projects, his son-inlaw, Uche Nwosu as Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning had already acquired the lands upon which the Eastern Palm University Ogboko was built after paying the sum of Fifty Eight Million, Two Hundred and Ninety Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Eight Naira Three Kobo (N48, 290848.3) only paid to land owners or landlords as compensation, using Imo State public funds as officially documented.
From all indications, there are overwhelming evidences that the Eastern Palm University Ogboko wholly belongs to Imo State contrary to claims of ownership or private partnership by Owelle Rochas Okorocha in one of his nefarious bids to acquire public properties.
If the vow by Governor Hope Uzodinma to recover every asset of the state government to the least value is anything to go by, then the various scheming, conspiracies, diplomatic shuttles and overbearing influence of Rochas Okorocha on President Muhammadu Buhari and SGF, Boss Mustapha to cause the National University Commission (NUC) to alter the status of Eastern Palm University to suit his claims of private ownership, will continue to fail.
Following Governor Hope Uzodinma’s first 100 days in office speech, laced with promises and hope, “where he outlined his resolve to wrest control of the destiny of Ndimo from carpet baggers, whose only interest in government is to fleece the public treasury for their own vile agenda” and “his additional decision to do everything within our behest to recover every government asset wrongly appropriated by individuals or person”, Okorocha is known to be frightened by moves championed by verious groups to recover Easternpalm University which the believe is government property.
In the Governors own words, he wants, “Imo people to trust him to recover to the last value any government asset in private hands no matter who is involved”. Okorocha according to government sources is presently scheming to alter the equation and get the presidency to intervene.
One of the many government assets appropriated and willfully privatized by Rochas Okorocha is the Eastern Palm University Ogboko which is among what Governor Hope Uzodinma hopes to recover at all costs. However, news that Uzodinma will stop at nothing until he has successfully recovered the Eastern Palm University Ogboko from the shackles and stranglehold of ex-governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha has sent the Ogboko born Senator panicking. A total restless Okorocha is reported to be moving from pillar to post to stop any attempt at recovering the institution which he falsely converted to himself and his Rochas foundation.