Micheal Chukwuebuka, Reporting
FORMER commissioner for transport in Imo State, Laz Okoroafor Anyanwu, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for fraud.
The presiding high court judge in Owerri, K.A. Lewanya, in his verdict, found Okoroafor Anyanwu guilty of diverting one hundred and eighty million naira (N180m) of state funds into a private company account where he is a sole signatory and major shareholder.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, accused him of violating the public procurement act, abuse of office, and using his office to gain undue advantage in his dealings during his tenure as a commissioner and interim committee chairman of Imo State Transport Company (ITC).
According to EFCC, while Okoroafor Anyanwu was commissioner between 2015 and 2019, he allegedly transferred the sum of N100 million from the ITC account to his private company named Oma Oil Industries Limited, which is against sections 12 and 19 of the ICPC act 2020 for public servants.
He also signed and approved another transfer of N80 million from government funds directly to his private company account under guise of procuring vehicles for the management of ITC without due process and recourse to public procurement act.
Anyanwu was arraigned in 2020, but he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
EFCC’s counsel, Michael Ani, was able to prove the case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the judge.
The looted N180 million found in Anyanwu’s account, as ordered by the judge, will be forfeited to the Imo State transport company.