Tola Badejo, the vice-chancellor (VC) of the Eastern Palm University, has been fired and replaced.

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The management of the varsity in Ogboko, Imo state, had earlier ordered the immediate closure of the institution over an ownership tussle between Hope Uzodinma, the state governor, and Rochas Okorocha, his predecessor.

But on Wednesday, Uzodimma named Ikechukwu Nosike Dozie to replace Badejo, who was appointed by Okorocha.

Bertrand Ikegwuoha, the commissioner for information, in a statement, said that the new appointment is to take effect immediately.

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“The former VC, Prof Tola Badejo, has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect,” the statement read.

“This is sequel to the former VC’s unauthorised announcement, illegally suspending academic activities in the university for the 2020/2021 academic year.

“All students and staff of the university are consequently advised to disregard the unauthorised announcement of the former vice-chancellor and return to normal academic and administrative life without delay.”

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During the ownership tussle, Uzodimma had stated that the varsity was licensed as the second in the state but Okorocha pointed out it was established under a public-private partnership between the state and his Rochas Foundation.

Badejo had earlier warned that the lingering crisis has disrupted the varsity’s academic activities on many occasions.

“The removal of the university’s entrance billboard by the state and its replacement with the proposed renamed Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe university by the government-aided armed policemen is one action too many,” he said.

“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.”

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