The government of Emeka Ihedioha has downgraded the Eastern Palm University Ogboko, in the Ideato South council area of Imo state, built by the immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Mr. Okorocha hails from Ogboko.
A 7-man committee inaugurated by governor Ihedioha to critically investigate the statuses of newly established tertiary institutions in the state by the Mr. Okorocha administration recommended the downgrading and conversion of the university into a campus of the Imo State University, Owerri, housing the Faculties of Management and Social Sciences.
The Chairman of the Committee and ex-Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Professor Jude Njoku, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the findings and recommendations of his committee on Wednesday.
He said the institution, although recognized by the National Universities Commission as the second state university in the state with an acting Vice Chancellor and a governing council should not be allowed to stay in view of the lean resources of the state to manage it along with other already existing institutions in the state.
According to him, the committee recommended the setting of up a judicial panel to ascertain the authenticity of the ownership of the institution.
Njoku added that the committee also recommended that both the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Aboh/Okpala and the University of Science and Technology, Umuna should remain campuses of the Imo State University Owerri – while Aboh/Okpala would be the campus for agriculture and veterinary medicine, Njoku said that Umuna would be for Engineering as earlier conceived.
The former commissioner for Education in the state however noted that the government might wish to upgrade these campuses to full-fledged universities and polytechnics as the need and resource might dictate and permit.
But in the meantime, his committee recommended the termination of the appointments of all the Vice Chancellors, Rectors, principal officials and members of the governing councils of the newly established tertiary institutions while all the properties belonging to such institutions be recovered.