Land allocation: Imo committee indicts Okorocha

A former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, was on Tuesday indicted by the committee set up by the Imo State Government for the recovery of land belonging to the Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri. The committee said Okorocha used brute force to dispose of the college of its land. In the report signed by the chairman, Prof  Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe, and the secretary,  B F Anyanwu, and submitted to Governor Hope Uzodimma, the committee recommended the recovery of the Shell Camp land from Okorocha and his associates within six months and hand the same over to the institution.

The committee regretted that Okorocha, as governor, used brute force including the military and hoodlums to snatch the land from the college after which he allocated or sold the same to his top associates.

Those who benefited from the bazaar and have been similarly asked to vacate the land included two of Okorocha’s in-laws, Dr. Uzoma Anwuka and a former Deputy Chief of Staff to Okorocha and ex-member of the House of Representatives, Kingsley Uju.

Apart from Okorocha’s in-laws, a former Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Acho Ihim; the current MD of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Chief Charles Orie, Prince Charles Amadi, and Ugochukwu Hillary also benefited from the illegal acquisition.

The committee regretted that Okorocha ordered the demolition of 101 buildings belonging to the staff of the college and thereafter confiscated their property.

It, therefore, urged the Imo State Executive Council to direct the recovery of all the lands belonging to AIFCE, which are now illegally in the hands of individuals and institutions.

It further asked the state government to ensure the recovery of the land within six months and thereafter issue a Certificate of Occupancy to the college.

“AIFCE should take full possession of the vacated land and property immediately upon recovery while the Commissioner for Lands and Owerri Capital Development Authority should recover the land within six months,” the committee recommended.

It further recommended that AIFCE should pay the agreed compensation to Orji indigenes who are the original owners of the land while the Army should vacate the shanties they erected in the land and finally move to Obinze.

Responding, Governor Uzodimma thanked the committee for doing a thorough job and promised that the state government would take all necessary steps in accordance with due process to implement the committee’s recommendations.