The face-off between Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, and his predecessor, Rochas Okorocha, is far from been over with the Uzodinma threatening to place a forfeiture order on Okorocha and his associates’ property if they failed to present proof of ownership before April 21, 2021.
Uzodinma that the ultimatum for proof submission was reached after the state government discovered that Okorocha, who currently represents Imo-West Senatorial District, allegedly allotted some state-owned property to members of his family, friends, and associates between 2011 and 2019.
The governor announced the plans on Thursday after the weekly Executive (EXCO) meeting held at the State House, Owerri, saying the administration’s decision to empower the Ministry of Lands and Survey to restore the Master plan and recover state-owned land had started paying off.
Uzodinma, in a statement made available to newsmen, noted that the ministry had been able to assist the government in identifying and commence full recovery of all state-owned lands and property listed in the recommendations listed for recovery by a committee commissioned by Emeka Ihedioha administration.
According to him, the committee discovered during their finds that the state capital, Owerri, Master plan has been altered and state-owned property allegedly diverted for private use.
Uzodinma said: “We have again, re-emphasized the timely empowerment of the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Imo State, to carry out the full implementation of recovery of all lands and property of Government based on the whitepaper report on violation of Owerri Master Plan.
“The EXCO, meanwhile, noted that owners of the Ekwema Crescent layout, which was illegally allotted to people by the Okorocha administration without any law are fortunate as the Government did not revoke their lands. The government has ordered that the land be returned to the original owners and anything developed on such land belongs to the owners.
“On the old IBC quarters at Orji in Owerri, where former Governor, Rochas Okorocha, built his Rochas Foundation College, Government emphasized that the property belongs to the Government and has been marked for a full recovery.
“In the same vein, Council observed the distortion of the New Owerri Master Plan and noted that the current administration is poised to recover the area and warned that any structure on the original Master Plan will be demolished.
“Furthermore, it was discovered by EXCO that the Government of Okorocha allotted the Imo State Government Layouts in Orlu to his family, friends, and cronies. The government will definitely recover that layout as part of that property illegally acquired.
“It is noteworthy that the Government has obtained a court order permitting her to recover every property illegally acquired by former Governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West in the National Assembly, Senator Rochas Okorocha. Therefore, Government has given Sen. Okorocha till April 21, 2021 to come and show proof of ownership of the said properties or it will be finally forfeited to the State Government”.