By Onyekachi Eze
Finally, Imo State House of Assembly, under the Leadership of Rt. Hon. Paul Emeziem, has renamed Former Governor Rochas Okorocha’s acclaimed University Eastern Palm in his hometown to K.O Mbadiwe University.
The State Legislature, in an Executive bill presented yesterday at the floor of the House by the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Emeka Nduka renamed Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, in Ideato South LGA, Imo State to “K. O. Mbadiwe University”.
The accelerated passage of the Law followed after the bill scaled through the normal Legislative Processes.
It would be recalled that recently the true position of the University was in doubt.
While the Imo Ex Governor now Senator representing Orlu Zone, Rochas Okorocha layed claims on establishing the Varsity with his money and entered into Public Private Partnership, PPP, with his Foundation, the incumbent Government of Hope Uzodinma differed on the matter.
However, after a report of the Committee set up to investigate the position of the Institution it came to a conclusion that EPU truly was built with Imo State money and Uzodinma abided by it.
Few days after adoption the ‘White Paper report’s recommending the Government to fully take charge, came a legal backing by the House of Assembly.
The long title reads, ” House of Assembly Bill No 76; A bill for a law to repeal the Eastern Palm University (Establishment) Law No. 3 of 2019 and to enact a Law to establish K. O. Mbadiwe University in Imo State and for other related matters”.
Presenting the bill, Hon. Emeka Nduka said, “what we are asking for is what belongs to the State must be given back to the State especially when it concerns Tax Payers money”.
The Ehime Mbano lawmaker opined that Government stands the best position to take full charge of the University for the purposes of giving quality education and revenue generation.
Hon Kanayo Onyemaechi, member representing Owerri West LGA said, one individual cannot open out mouth widely and say he is bigger than the State.
Onyemaechi added that if it were to be in abroad, by now, Rochas Okorocha would be facing serious prosecution.
“We are not here to look at anybody’s face, but to do what the people voted us to do”.
Lending his voice to the debate, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Amara Iwuanyanwu described the bill as people’s bill, judging by the populist yearning by the masses to reclaim State’s property.
Iwuanyanwu asked, “How can a former Governor enter into partnership with his private Foundation built with tax payers money? Even compensation money paid to the host communities were paid with the State fund”.
He stated that the recovery could only be possible by the courageous nature of a selfless Governor, Hope Uzodinma who has the people’s interest at heart.
Other contributors, Hons; Eddy Obinna, Ekene Nnodumele, Paschal Okolie, Kennedy Ibeh, Arthur Egwim, Uju Onwudiwe, Dominic Ezerioha, all condemned former Governor’s claims, attributing it as reaping the State dry, and high level of financial rascality.
After the debate, the House passed the bill into law, awaiting for the Governor’s assent.
However, many sections, clauses, schedules in the Law establishing the EPU were repealed and new law renaming it to K. O. Mbadiwe University, Ogboko, passed.