v Insists varsity , part of family conglomerate
v Fails to explain how land was acquired
The last may not have been heard about the ownership status and controversy surrounding the Eastern Palm or KO Mbadiwe University, Ogboko, in Ideato South LGA of Imo State, which the Governor Hope administration recently recovered from the former Governor, Rochas Okorocha, as the latter who has refused to let go, has once again dared the state government by insisting that the university which was from all indications, built with public funds on land acquired from the people on the premise that it would be deployed to public use, is part of his family business conglomerate.
The latest affront which came, shortly after the state government approved resumption of activities at the University and directed the staff to resume duties with effect from Monday July 5, 2021, was contained in a release issued by the Special Adviser, Media to the former Governor, now Senator representing Imo West senatorial district in the National Assembly, Sam Onwuemeodo captioned, “there is nothing like Kingsley Ozumba University, Ogboko, but Eastern Palm University and Imo State governor has no right over it reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a Statement, credited to the Imo State Government, with the referenced caption, which has gone viral in the media.
“We would be failing in our responsibility, if we do not put the record straight, so that nobody would be deceived”.
“There is no University called Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe at Ogboko. What is at Ogboko, is the Eastern Palm University owned by Rochas Foundation and not Imo State government.
“The Imo State Government, has been making some baseless and unsubstantiated claims, over the University to the extent of claiming that, it has changed its nomenclature to Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University.
“We had earlier written to remind the government that, the name of a University, with legal status, cannot be changed with a resolution at a Cabinet meeting.
“Recently, owing to the constant harassment of the students and invasion of the University by agents of the state government vis-à-vis, the cases in Court, concerning the University, Rochas Foundation ordered for the temporary closure of the University, and told the students to leave, pending the determination of the cases in Court. All these had taken place.
“The Imo State government was also expected to toe the path of peace and civility, by stopping further encroachment on the University and further inflammatory actions and utterances, until the courts decide on the fate of the University, and the EFCC also making public, the outcome of its investigation on the University.
It is also important to state that, the Imo State government, has not shown any proof that the University was built with the Imo State Government’s money or that the land on which the University was built, belonged to the state government. We challenge the government to make any of such proofs public.
The truth is that, the Imo State government has nothing tenable to back its claim over the University. That is why, they are going by fiat or self-help. One can clearly see evidence of hate, vendetta and envy in the whole drama.
The government had hurriedly gone to Court to get forfeiture order, on some of Okorocha and his family’s properties, even when cases on the same properties are still pending in courts. And valid judgments also gotten on some of them, with cost awarded against the state government. Yet, the government has continued to go by intimidation and self-help.
The drama or lawlessness going on in Imo, has become nauseating and the government should leave Okorocha and the family alone, and allow the EFCC, it also invited and the courts, to do their works. If they have found out the truth that, they have nothing to achieve with their petitions to EFCC and the Cases in Court, with the facts on ground, they should officially withdraw their petitions from EFCC and from the cases in various court and apologize to Okorocha and family, for all the embarrassment and blackmail.
The lawlessness and intimidation going on in Imo, should stop. The governor cannot continue to scare investors away. Okorocha’s love for the State and her people had made him to have his investments in Imo, even, long before his governorship. He should be encouraged and not be vilified. Okorocha remains the only Imo man with visible investments in the State.
The land where the Eastern Palm University was built, was acquired by Rochas Foundation about twenty years ago, with the idea of building the Rochas Foundation University there.
So, we call on the general public to disregard the recent announcement from the state government, on the Eastern Palm University. The government has no right to change the name of the University and has no right to direct its activities or carry out any action on the University.
In last Friday’s invasion, they chased away staff of the station in a commando style. After the agents of the government had manhandled them. They closed down the station since that Friday, July 2, 2021, on the excuse that they were demanding for its approval plan. And not even writing to the management of the station, to make that demand.
The tenable claim is that, someone is envious of Okorocha’s achievements and investments. Otherwise they knew that, that property housing the Radio Station was acquired by Okorocha more than twenty-five years ago and it had witnessed both military and civilian administrations. So, how come that it is now, under the governorship of Chief Uzodinma that the property has come under constant attacks?
The station’s lawyer has decided to sue the government and its agents, behind the constant disruption of the business of the station, to claim damages”.
Recall that Eastern Palm University host communities, including Okorocha’s ancestral home, Ogboko dragged the former governor to court for fraudulently and deceitfully acquiring their lands without paying them compensation.