Following the popular demand and outcry of Orlu people, especially those whose lands were forcefully taken without compensation, the government of Imo state appears to have yielded to the pressure of taking over the school.This followed a special sitting of the Imo State House of Assembly,yesterday wherein the House of Assembly Unanimously repealed the law to enable it change the name of the school.
Orluzurumee Youth Assembly had earlier written to Imo State Government urging it to take over the school or relinquish the lands to original owners and given government three months ultimatum after which the would proceed to court.
The group after waiting till expiration of the time, the proceeded to court.
Orluzurumee youth assembly had on the 18th of August 2020 approached the State High Court with suit (No. HOW585. 2020) for interpretation and to seek redress on the ownership of Eastern Palm University built with state funds.
The group insisted that until some of the provisions in the amended 2019 law are repealed, Okorocha would continue to lay claims on ownership of the University.
Interestingly,the Imo State House of Assembly,yesterday gave a nod to the conversion of Eastern Palm University (EPU) allegedly owned by the former Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to the K. O Mbadiwe University.
The approval followed an executive bill presented by the Deputy Majority Leader of the House and member representing Ehime-Mbano state constituency, Emeka Nduka during plenary on Wednesday.
The bill tagged, “a bill for a law to repeal the establishment of Eastern Palm University (EPU) law 2019 to enable the House to re-enact law for the establishment of K. O. Mbadiwe University in Imo State and other related matters,” was given an accelerated hearing and passed into law.
Some members of the Assembly who reacted to the bill apportioned blame on the 8th House of Assembly which earlier passed the EPU bill into law.
It was learnt that the former governor, Okorocha who claimed ownership of the University, entered into a questionable and highly controversial Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the Imo State government using Rochas foundation to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
The former Governor had severally been quoted as claiming that 90% of the university belonged to him while 10% was for Imo government.
Further reports had it that a Committee set up by the immediate past Governor of Imo state, Rt.Hon Emeka Ihedioha, headed by the former Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology,FUTO, Prof Jude Njoku in the cause of their investigation observed that the said institution was built with Imo State money.
Meanwhile, some lawmakers from Okigwe zone including the member representing Obowo state constituency, Kennedy Ibeh have appealed to the state Governor, Hope Uzodinma to consider the zone for the location of its satellite campus.
The Eastern Palm University is currently located at Ogboko in Ideato South Local Government Area of the state, the country home of the former Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha.