Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
Leaders of Imo East Senatorial District otherwise known as Owerri Zone, have asked the governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodimma, to leave no stone unturned in making sure that the assets of the state allegedly diverted by a former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, were recovered.
The leaders urged the governor to implement the recommendations of the Justice Florence Igwe judicial panel of inquiry on land allocations and other related matters.
The panel had recommended forfeiture of property unlawfully appropriated by former governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, and his family members.
Okorocha, representing Orlu senatorial zone had engaged the state government in a running battle for sealing the luxurious Royal Palm Estate, owned by his wife, Nneoma Nkechi.
The leaders, who belonged to different political leanings met in Owerri, where they passed a resolution, urging Governor Uzodimma not to delay in recovering property illegally appropriated by Okorocha and his family as contained in the panel’s report.
Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Physical Planning, Enyinnaya Onuegbu, said the white paper detailed the number of property and lands across the state unlawfully taken by the former governor.
Onuegbu said Okorocha had engaged in primitive acquisition of property, recalling that several lands and property, belonging to the people of the state which the white paper recommended for seizure and forfeiture, should be recovered from the former governor.
He also disclosed lands that were legitimately allocated to individuals with certificate of occupancy prior to 2011, were taken over by the former governor and members of his family and cronies.
“This is not a case of witch hunting but brazen display of land grabbing by the former governor to the detriment of land owners, particularly in Owerri zone,” he said.
The Majority Leader of the House of Assembly and member representing Owerri West constituency, Kanayo Onyemaechi, said the zone supports the implementation of the white paper on lands to recover all illegally acquired lands by Okorocha and members of his family.
Convener of the meeting, Alex Mbata, said the people of Owerri zone have taken a decision on the matter, urging Governor Uzodimma to implement the report of the white paper.