The face off between Governor Hope Uzodinma, and his predecessor, senator representing Orlu zone, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has gone beyond politics.The bone of contention presently, is the Eastern Palm University, EPU, in Ogboko, Ideato South Local government area of Imo State.
Governor Uzodinma, through the State Ministry of Education ordered the closure of the university.
The directive was said to have not gone done well with the former Governor who built the university during his reign as Governor of Imo State under a PPP arrangement which allegedly gave Okorocha, huge controlling share of the University.
A source who pleaded anonymity told this newspaper that the former Governor had ordered the management to re open the school, ahead of it’s matriculation scheduled to hold on Saturday, December 5.
The order did not take effect as this newspaper was informed that a combined team of security agents and officials of the State Ministry of Education led by the Commissioner, Prof B.T. O Ikegwuoha closed the institution. This ended abruptly academic activities at the varsity.
The Imo State government is said to be keen to recover the university from Okorocha, on the grounds that ex governor used state funds to build the citadel of learning, and yet converted it for private use.
Recall that the apex youth platform in Orlu Zone, Orluzurumee Youth Assembly, had instituted a court case at the Imo State High Court, Owerri Judicial Division, praying the Court to declare the Eastern Palm University, a property of Imo people
According to the group led by Engr. Christian Okolie (Chairman) and Collins Opurozor, spokesman of the group, they had prayed the court, to among other things “a declaration of court that the Eastern Palm University, which was built with state resources and all instruments of state power, is indeed a property of Imo people, and the management, control and running be accordingly vested, whole and entire, with the Government of Imo State on behalf of the people of Imo State.
“We seek, more fundamentally, an order of the court nullifying the fraudulent Section 3 (3), (4) and (5) of the Imo State Law No. 3 of 2019, which are unconstitutional, immoral and wrongful, to the extent that they confer benefits and privileges on Rochas Okorocha as a person, his Rochas Foundation, his cronies and his proxies in the ownership of Eastern Palm University”