Stanley Uzoaru and George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Members of the Imo House of Assembly, yesterday, urged Governor Emeka Ihedioha to probe the immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha, for allegedly using N5 billion belonging to the state government to build a university for himself.
Eddy Obinna, representing Aboh Mbaise state constituency, who sponsored the motion, alleged that after building the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, with state resources, Okorocha appointed his personal staff as chancellor.
“Imo State government expended over N5 billion tax payer’s money, in building physical structures at the permanent site at Ogboko in Ideato South LGA.
“When the licence as a university was issued by National Universities Commission, it became Eastern Palm University, Ogboko and the former governor, personally received the licence as governor.
“As at today, the true ownership of the university is shrouded in mystery and secrecy, but unofficially, the former governor has claimed that a private investor (Rochas Foundation) owns 90 per cent of the university, while Imo State government owns 10 per cent.
“We should, therefore, urge the governor to verify the legal status and true ownership of the university. Verify the actual financial involvement and investment made by the Imo State government.
“Verifying whether any third party contributed to its establishment and building and to recover the university for Imo State government, if it is established that it was actually built with Imo State funds,” Obinna stated.
When the speaker, Chiji Collins, put the motion to a voice vote, majority of the lawmakers backed the motion.
Meanwhile, the 645 councillors, who were sacked alongside the 27 council chairmen, have dragged Governor Ihedioha, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Speaker of the State Assembly and Attorney General of the Federation to the Federal High Court, Owerri.
Ihedioha, acting on the resolution of the state Assembly, had sworn in chairmen and members of the Interim Management Committee for the councils.
However, in a suit marked FHC/CS/ 75/ 2019, the councillors sought for an order of injunction restraining the defendants by themselves, their agents, servants or anybody acting on their behalf from terminating, removing, suspending or abridging their tenure as duly elected councillors of the 27 local government areas in Imo State.
The councillors also sought for declaration that the purported suspension or dissolution on June 3, 2019 by the fifth and sixth defendants was unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal consequence.
They further sought for a declaration that the defendants lack the legal competence or capacity to suspend, terminate or dissolve them considering that they were duly elected and properly certificated by Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC).
The Chairman of the Leader of all Legislative Leaders, Godwin Nwankwo, pointed out that they were going to resist the recent illegality by the administration of Ihedioha, stressing that they were duly elected and properly certificated by ISIEC.