Governor Hope Uzodimma’s administration has approved the restoration of lands forcefully and illegally acquired by the administration of Rochas Okorocha, Emeka Ihedioha and other previous governments.
The decision to return the lands to their original owners was reached on Wednesday at the weekly State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Uzodimma.
Briefing the media after the meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, supported by Commissioner for Works, Raph Nwosu, Commissioner for Transportation, Rex Anunobi, Commissioner for Environment Iyke Njoku and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku, explained that Council has adopted the Whitepaper on the Judicial Panel of inquiry on lands and other related matters which covered the year June 2006 to May 2019 as well as the Whitepaper Report on the Visitation Panel on Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH), Orlu.
Emelumba said Council agreed with the Whitepaper recommendation of the Judicial Panel of inquiry on lands and other related matters on the revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) issued on the lands forcefully and illegally acquired and for the restoration of such lands to the original owners.
The Council also adopted recommendations by the Panel such as the restoration of the Owerri Master Plan which encouraged the government to demolish illegal structures that pose a challenge to the beauty of the Capital City of Imo State.
Emelumba said: “The Exco decided that all public lands wrongly allocated to Individuals will be revoked by Government and returned to the original owners. All layouts whose nomenclature were wrongly changed will be returned to their original names.
“The Permanent Site of Government House which was mapped out and designated as such but was balkanized by previous administrations will be recovered and restored fully, and any structure or building erected in the permanent site will be revoked and removed to restore the permanent site to its original design.
“All other illegal structures erected anywhere within Owerri Municipal and its environment that distorted the original Master Plan will be regarded as an illegal structure and will be demolished to restore the old Owerri Master Plan. This applies to Arugo-layout, Ekwema-layout, and other such Government layouts anywhere in Imo State.”