George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The committee saddled with the responsibility of ascertaining the feasibility of the newly- established tertiary institutions in Imo by the immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, is fully owned by the government as it was established with the resources of the state.
This was just as the committee also recommended that the university, University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Aboh/Okpala and the University of Technology, Umuna, should remain the campuses of the Imo State University.
The committee also recommended that the appointments of the vice chancellors and rectors made by former governor Okorocha should be terminated immediately.
Former vice chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri and chairman of the committee, Prof. Jude Njoku, who made the disclosure at a press conference yesterday, said a judicial panel should be set up to ascertain how the Rochas Foundation purportedly acquired 90 percent equity holding in the Eastern Palm University.
“The university was recognised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) as the second state university in Imo State.
“The land was acquired and paid by the state government, which has been confirmed by the Ministry of Lands.
“We later heard that the Rochas Foundation now holds 90 percent equity and we have asked the foundation to bring forward an evidence to show how they have come to own the university that was funded from resources of the state.
“We have recommended that the state government should set up a judicial panel to investigate the sources of funding and why the foundation is laying claim to it because we don’t have the power to summon those involved in this scam, but a judicial panel has the power to summon them.”
However, he said the government might wish to upgrade these campuses to full fledged universities and polytecnics as the need and resources may dictate and permit.