Senator Rochas Okorocha representing Imo West, may be in trouble after Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State charged the newly inaugurated Implementation Committee of the White Paper On Lands And Related Matters.
Already a High Court in Owerri, the state capital, has ordered “final and absolute” forfeiture of contested properties linked to Okorocha, erstwhile governor of the state, to Imo State Government.
The properties are listed on 46 pages of the state government white paper on recovery of lands and properties belonging to Imo State.
Uzodinma appointed Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, who was relieved of his duty as the Vice Chancellor of the Imo State University (IMSU) by Okorocha during his reign as governor of the state, increasing the possibility of full implementation of the committee’s mandate.
Governor Uzodinma however gave the committee a charge to recover for Imo people all the assets gazetted in the Whitepaper as set out in the recommendations of the commission.
He gave the charge at Government House, Owerri, on Monday while inaugurating the committee.
The Governor disclosed that the implementation of the Whitepaper can rightly be seen as a defining moment of the sacred contract between the government and Imo people.
According to the Governor, “With the inauguration of this Committee, the three mantras of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery have further been amplified as a compass for the conduct of government business under my watch”.
Challenging the Committee to live up to expectation, the Governor reminded them that they have a sacred duty ahead of them which they must deliver to the very last letter.
“The Whitepaper on lands and related matters is unambiguous – it is now an established legal fact that lands and properties belonging to both the government and the people were illegally acquired or appropriated…This is so because all such illegal acquisitions were identified by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry… Government accepted these recommendations and thereabout issued a Whitepaper”, Uzodimma stated.
The Governor added that the recovery of stolen public assets was and still is what the majority of Imo people demand.
On the membership of the committee, Governor Uzodimma expressed the hope that the impeccable integrity of each member will guide them in the discharge of the patriotic assignment.
Among the property forfeited were East High Academy, Eastern Palm University, Ogboko; Royal Spring Palm Hotels and Apartments, IBC staff quarters said to have been illegally acquired for the purpose of Rochas Foundation College, Owerri magistrate quarters, Orlu road/cooperative office/Girls Guide allegedly converted to private use housing market square, Kilimanjaro eatery.
Others are Public building plot B/2 Otamiri South Extension Layout given to the ministry of women affairs for establishing a skills acquisition centre for women, allegedly acquired for the benefit of Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha’s all-in stall, Aba road, Plot P5, Naze residential layout, initially part of Primary School Management Board but now annexed to All-In stall, Aba Road, belonging to Nkechi Okorocha, and all other properties contained from pages 226 to 272 of the government white paper on the recommendation of the judicial commission of inquiry into land administration in Imo state from June 2006 to May 2019.