From Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
The Imo State Government Whitepaper Implementation Committee on Lands and other Related Matters said it has recovered and returned a total of 987 properties from the former governor of the State, Rochas Okorocha, to their owners.
Chairman of the committee Professor Ukachukwu Awuzie, who disclosed this to our correspondent today, has also admitted that he has been receiving threatening calls from strange people while trying to complete the task before him.
Awuzie noted that the number returned excludes so many others the White paper has recommended for their investigation.
He said ” I don’t know the number yet but it has been published, according to the White paper, those who have challenges about 987. There so many other people whose land the White paper said, investigate and find out if the acquired land is within government area, we have not done that,” Awuzie said.
On the threats, he said “basically there are no serious challenges because we have the maximum support of the State government and agencies. I was an ASUU President, I don’t reckon with threats, I know the God I serve will have to do what is right at all times, we would all meet our creator one day.
“Yes, I have been receiving some strange calls but they will not distract me from what I’m doing now, I don’t answer any call again I don’t know who the caller is,” Awuzie confessed.
Speaking on other discoveries, the committee chairman said they discovered that all of the processes of land revocation and allocation during Okorocha’s administration never followed due process.
He said: “What was alarming was that the government was run without due process and all the challenges we had arise from the government not following due process.
“If you want to revoke lands there are processes, you don’t revoke personal land and turn it to personal use, you can only revoke when there is a compelling government use at that moment, you don’t revoke land and give it to your families or friends.
The committee in their seating last week had accused Senator Okorocha of partitioning and appropriating the properties located in various areas of the State to himself and his family members.