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Former Governor Rochas Okorocha Indicted for Land Dispossession: Committee Recommends Recovery

In a significant development, the Committee established by the Imo State Government to investigate the land dispute involving Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE) has implicated former governor Rochas Okorocha for forcefully dispossessing the college of its land. The committee, led by Chairman Prof. Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe and Secretary B.F. Anyanwu, submitted its comprehensive report to Governor Hope Uzodimma yesterday.

The report highlights the alarming use of brute force, including the involvement of military personnel and hoodlums, by Okorocha during his tenure as governor to seize land belonging to AIFCE. The land in question, known as the Shell Camp land, was allegedly allocated or sold to Okorocha’s close associates after being forcibly taken from the college.

The committee’s findings have prompted recommendations aimed at rectifying the situation. The report calls for the immediate recovery of the Shell Camp land from Okorocha and his associates within a span of six months. The reclaimed land is to be promptly handed over to AIFCE, allowing the institution to regain rightful ownership.

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Among those identified as beneficiaries of this land acquisition “bazaar” are two of Okorocha’s in-laws, Dr. Uzoma Anwuka and Kingsley Uju. Additionally, other individuals, including former Speaker Chief Acho Ihim, Charles Orie, Prince Charles Amadi, and Ugochukwu Hillary, were named as having unlawfully profited from the unauthorized land transfer.

The report condemns Okorocha’s decision to order the demolition of 101 buildings owned by college staff members, followed by the confiscation of their possessions. The committee calls upon the Imo State Executive Council to intervene by directing the immediate recovery of all lands that have been unlawfully acquired by various individuals and institutions.

The committee’s recommendations extend further, urging the state government to oversee the complete recovery of the AIFCE-owned lands within six months. Subsequently, the college is advised to take swift possession of the reclaimed land and assets. The Commissioner for Lands and OCDA have been tasked with overseeing the recovery process within the stipulated timeframe.

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To address the rightful ownership of the land and offer restitution, the committee suggests that AIFCE provide compensation to the original landowners, the Orji indigenes. Additionally, the report advocates for the removal of army installations on the disputed land, with a directive to relocate to Obinze.

In response to the committee’s exhaustive investigation and recommendations, Governor Uzodimma expressed gratitude for their meticulous work. He affirmed the commitment of the state government to diligently follow due process in implementing the recommended actions to resolve this contentious land dispute.

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