Imo State Committee Exposes Land Dispossession Tactics by Rochas Okorocha

Imo State, Nigeria – A committee assembled by the Imo State Government to probe the land dispute involving Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education (AIFCE) has released its findings, implicating former governor Rochas Okorocha for forcibly acquiring land from the college. The committee’s report, submitted to Governor Hope Uzodimma on Tuesday, presents a damning account of Okorocha’s actions.

The committee, led by Chairman Prof Vitalis Orikeze Ajumbe and Secretary Barr B F Anyanwu, disclosed that Okorocha had employed aggressive measures, including military intervention and thuggery, to seize land from AIFCE. Subsequently, he distributed or sold the land to his associates.

The report mandates the recovery of the Shell Camp land from Okorocha and his associates within six months, followed by its restoration to AIFCE ownership.

Notable beneficiaries of the improperly acquired land include two of Okorocha’s in-laws, Dr Uzoma Anwuka and Hon Kingsley Uju. Additionally, figures such as former Speaker Chief Acho Ihim, Chief Charles Orie, Prince Charles Amadi, and Chief Ugochukwu Hillary are implicated in the land acquisition.

The committee also revealed Okorocha’s order to demolish 101 buildings belonging to college staff, subsequently confiscating their property.

The committee’s recommendations call on the Imo State Executive Council to oversee the reclamation of AIFCE lands from private individuals and entities. This process is expected to conclude within six months, at which point the college will receive a certificate of occupancy for the reclaimed land.

Furthermore, the committee advises AIFCE to offer agreed-upon compensation to the original landowners, the Orji indigenes. The Nigerian Army is also urged to vacate shanties on the land and relocate to Obinze.

Governor Uzodimma expressed gratitude to the committee for its thorough investigation and pledged to ensure the implementation of the recommendations through proper channels. The revelations underscore the urgency of addressing land-related injustices and restoring rightful ownership to AIFCE.

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