A former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Friday said the state government has no legal right to take over the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, owned by Rochas Foundation.
The state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, had announced that the state executive council had adopted the White Paper recommending that the university, which he claimed was built with the resources of the state, be retrieved from Okorocha who is now representing Imo West in the Senate.
But Okorocha, in a statement by his spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, in Owerri, the state capital, said the state government had no legal right to announce the recovery of the institution from the trustees of Rochas Foundation.
He advised the state government to wait for the outcome of a suit it filed challenging the ownership status of the institution.
However, Emelumba said there was no going back on the recovery process. The commissioner said the National Universities Commission’s records showed that the university was documented as the state-owned university.
He said, “The university was registered as state-owned university. The university was built with funds belonging to tax payers of Imo State. “There is no going back on the recovery. All the relevant agencies have been informed.”
But Okorocha’s aide, Onwuemeodo, in the statement urged the public to disregard the state government.
His statement read, “This is to plead with the general public to disregard the claim by the state government, with Chief Hope Uzodinma as governor, that it has recovered the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko.
“The only reason the government gave was that a White Paper, that has not been released, recommended the recovery. The claim was only aimed at distracting the public from the total collapse of governance in Imo State.”