By Ikechukwu Iweajunwa
Owerri -The incorporated trustees of a socio-cultural organisation in Imo, called Oluzurumee Youth Assembly, has approached an Owerri High Court to determine the true ownership of the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the university was one of the six higher institutions established by former Gov. Rochas Okorocha toward the winding down of his administration in 2019.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri on Monday, the group alleged that the university, which was built with Imo resources, was erroneously transferred to Rochas Foundation by the state House of Assembly.
The organisation therefore seeks a declaration of the court that the university is a property of Imo and should be managed by the state government.
It also seeks an order of the court directing the state government to take over full control of the university.
Joined in the suit were the Imo government, Attorney General of the State, House of Assembly, Incorporated Trustees of Rochas Foundation and Sen. Rochas Okorocha.
NAN reports that the National University Commission had given approval during Okorocha’s second tenure for the establishment of a second university in Imo, called Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, his hometown.
The group claimed in the suit that the state assembly had before the expiration of Okorocha’s tenure, allocated 90 per cent equity shares to the foundation.
The suit also aked for a nullification of Law No. 3 of 2019, by which Okorocha conferred exclusive right and privilege to the foundation.
It further noted that the foundation was owned and promoted by Okorocha and described his action as an abuse of office and breach of public trust.
The suit also seeks to nullify sections 3, 4 and 5 of Imo State Law 2019, which confers all rights and privileges of the university exclusively to the foundation..
The group prayed the court to set aside all agreements made in Section 3 of Law No. 3, 2019 between the foundation and the government, discribing them as immoral and unconstitutional.
It also prayed for an order of court setting aside and nullifying “any and all appointments made pursuant to any instruments and or agreement or memorandum or decision made pursuant to Law No. 3 of 2019.”