Senator Rochas Okorocha, the immediate past governor of Imo state has challenged the incumbent governor of the state, Hope Uzodinma to recover his private university, Eastern Palm University(EPU), Ogboko, Ideato South Council Area of the state, if he has the legal power to do so.
While insisting that the said university was a creation of the law, Okorocha clearly stated that it does not belong to the state government.
This was in response to the statement released by the Imo state government that it had recovered the Eastern Palm University and had been empowered to deal decisively with anyone or group of persons ready to test the will of government over ownership of the university.
In a statement issued on his behalf by his media adviser, Sam Onwuemeodo, Okorocha urged the general public to disregard the claim by the state government that it had recovered the university because it had no reason to take over the university from him.
According to him, the government’s claim was only aimed at distracting the public from the total collapse of governance in the state.
“The Eastern Palm University was a creation of the law. It has a law establishing it. It is a legal entity. So, it is not a kiosk or market store one could wake up one day, to claim or announce to have recovered.
“The Eastern Palm University was established by the Imo State of Nigeria, Law No. 3 of 2019. And part II, No.3 (3) Stated that, “the University shall be owned on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, by the Imo State Government and the Incorporated Trustees of Rochas Foundation, hereinafter referred to as the Parties”.
“And the Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding between the Concerned Parties are domiciled in the relevant bodies or Institutions. And the law also provided that any of the Parties, “may decide to opt out of the Agreement upon giving the prescribed notice and meeting the conditions for opting out as contained in the Agreement”, the state reads.
Okorocha said it was absurd for the government to announce to have recovered an institution established by law, through a press conference held in one of the offices in government house, claim to have based the action on a Whitepaper, seen by nobody.
The former governor reminded Governor Uzodimma of his assurance to release the Whitepaper on all the recommendations of the panels set up by his government or the government before him.
“And instead of living up to his vow or assurance to release the Whitepaper, he decided to play Politics of Vendetta with the issue.”