As if daring the will and capacity of the incumbent Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who few weeks ago vowed to recover to the last kobo, every public property and funds looted by erstwhile governors of the state,the former Governor of Imo State, now Senator representing Imo West in the Senate, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has unilaterally appointed a new Vice Chancellor for the highly contentious Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, said to have been funded by the Imo State government.
According to our source, the new Vice Chancellor who was simply identified as Prof Bade,a Yoruba assumed office on July 13, 2019. He was conducted round the school by one Mr Ernest Onuoha, Registrar of the Institution, said to be a relative of the former governor’s wife, Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha, from Isiukwuato in Abia State. Onuoha was said to have retired from Abia State University, Uturu, under unclear circumstances.
Okorocha had upon the emergence of ex-Governor Emeka Ihedioha allegedly instructed his Rochas Foundation staff to dismantle the appliances and other fittings in the buildings. This fueled speculations that he may have finally given up on the ownership of the university which was recognized by the National University Commission (NUC), as second Imo State owned university.
Investigation revealed that the Governor had used his office through the then Commissioner for Lands, Uche Nwosu, his son-inlaw to revoke the vast portion of land for which the land owners have been protesting and urging Imo state government to take over the land or release same to them as the MOU initially signed with them for the release of the lands reads Imo state government and not private investors or any individual for that matter.
It was gathered that 100% of the funds used for building the expansive university structures were sourced from the state government. Many contractors who handled some of the projects have since confessed and attested to this.
It was also gathered that the Certificate of Registration of the university, a copy of which was made available to the Nigeria Watchdog, reveals that the school is the 44th state owned university in Nigeria and second Imo state owned university, though there have been clandestine moves by Okorocha to alter or change this status, to enable him appropriate the entire investment as a private concern.
Prior to this time, the former Governor, Okorocha had through the House of Assembly attempted to change the original plan of the school which by the law, was unsuspectingly created by the Imo State House of Assembly without any form of consultation or public hearing, to seek and obtain public opinion or input.