By Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri 

The management of Eastern Palm University, Ogboko in Ideato South Local Government of Imo State has announced the suspension of academic activities with immediate effect.

This followed ownership crisis between the Imo State Government and Senator Rochas Okorocha’s Rochas Foundation.

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A panel set up by then Governor Emeka Ihedioha had recommended that the university be taken over by the state government.

The administration of Governor Hope Uzodimma, in accepting the recommendations of the panel, renamed the institution Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Tola Badejo, briefing reporters in Owerri yesterday, said the decision to suspend academic activities was taken to save students and workers as well as the institution’s properties.

He said the students have been ordered to vacate the campus from tomorrow pending the resolution of the rift between Rochas Foundation and the state government.

Badejo said the order was to prevent confrontation between Rochas Foundation and the government, adding that the signboard of the university had been removed and replaced with the current name approved by the government.

A statement by the university spokesman, Odanwu Augustine Ituma, said the institution was embarrassed by the recent visit of the commissioner for Education, when he ordered the students to leave the campus.

He added that the replacement of the entrance billboards by the state government and its replacement with the proposed renamed K. O. Mbadiwe was an act too many.

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