Imo state government has taken over Eastern Palm University at Ogboko in Orlu, said to be owned by former governor Rochas Okorocha.
In an announcement on Thursday, government warned all those it called ‘fraudulent claimants’ to stay away from the university.
It said its right to ownership is based on the fact that state money was used to build the school.
It warned that if they failed to stay away, they would be made to face the full weight of the law.
They have also been reminded that the government has been empowered to deal decisively with anyone or group of persons ready to test the will of government over ownership of the university
The Executive Council of Imo State took the decision at its weekly meeting of Wednesday, February 10, 2021, presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma.
The Council accepted the White paper Report on Land Use and Related Matters which recognises that the Eastern Palm University is owned by the state.
It, therefore, resolved that all necessary steps must be taken to recover the University from fraudulent claimants.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the Eastern Palm University has been accredited by National Universities Commission (NUC) as the second Imo State-owned University.
The White Paper, according to the Commissioner, recommended that the University should be recovered and appropriately designated as a State University in accordance with the laid down guidelines of NUC.
Consequently, Council has directed the relevant ministries to take immediate steps to implement the decisions of the Executive Council, in accordance with the White Paper Report.
The Council noted that the university was built with Imo State tax payers money.
Emelumba said that in the nearest future, government will decide on what to do with the University and that the people of Imo State will be informed appropriately.
Emelumba, who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Barr. (Mrs.) Doris Akubue-Onyeali warned that “now that the University has been recovered and returned to the State, anybody seen at the site or premises parading himself or herself in any manner in terms of ownership or otherwise will be dealt with decisively.”
On the plight of the students and workers, the Commissioner said the Council assuaged their fear, noting that none of them will be made to suffer for anything they are innocent of.
He added that the relevant ministries and agencies have been charged to handle such cases as they may be applicable to the full implementation of the White Paper.
In another development, the Council has cleared the air on the orchestrated N8.9billion Fidelity Bank “Loan” approved by the Imo State House of Assembly, describing the insinuation as unfounded.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy clarified that the money in question is not a loan, but Imo State Government’s share from the Excess Crude Account from the Federal Government.
He said what Imo State Government did was simply to use her ENTITLEMENT to get the money in bulk from Fidelity, instead of waiting for it to come to the state in bits.
He, therefore, clarified that the Imo State government under Governor Uzodimma has not borrowed from any bank yet.