The Eastern Palm University, Ogboko has been forced by the Imo State Government to shut down, the school management said on Wednesday.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tola Badejo told journalists in Owerri that the decision was taken to safeguard the lives of the students and staff and as well as the properties of the varsity.
The school, alleged to have been built with stolen public funds by former governor Rochas Okorocha, closes with immediate effect, Badejo said.
He explained the institution took the decision due to the ownership crisis between Rochas Okorocha and the state government.
The VC said, “The recent visit by the Imo State Commissioner for Education ordering the students to leave the premises was unsettling for the institution. The recent removal of the university’s entrance billboard by the Imo State Government and its replacement with the proposed renamed K. O Mbadiwe university by the government-aided armed policemen is simply one action too many.
“Antics and actions by the Imo State Government have disrupted the academic activities of the institution and have stirred an air of panic and discomfort in a place that is designed to bring a sense of purpose to the young bright minds within its walls.
“The decision to shut down was made upon the heels of the recent and incessant harassment by the Imo State Government and its total disregard for the court judgment of the state High court on this matter.
“All students and parents are urged to contact the registrar’s office in order to gain better insight and support during this period. Creating a healthy and conducive environment for learning is key to our operations at Eastern Palm University and as such a parameter we cannot trade.”