Laz Okoroafor-Anyanwu, a former Commissioner for Transport in Imo State, was sentenced to three years imprisonment on Tuesday by Justice K. A Lewanya of a high court in Owerri, Imo state.
The judge said Anyanwu looted the sum of N180 million found in his account meant for the state transport company, an action which violates the Public Procurement Act.
The judge also held that he abused his office by using it to gain undue advantage in his dealings during his tenure as the commissioner for transport and the chairman interim committee of the Imo state transport company, ITC.
The Judgement: After finding him guilty of the charges proffered against him by EFCC, Justice Lewanya sentenced him to one-year imprisonment with no option of fine.
The Judge said Okoroafor-Anyanwu was also found guilty 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 ITC chairman.
The judge who held that his action violated the Public Procurement Act and abused his office also held that the jail term would run concurrently.
The judge ordered that the looted N180 million found in his account be forfeited to the Imo state transport company.
The judge noted that the EFCC lawyer, Micheal Ani, was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that when Okoroafor-Anyanwu was commissioner for transport, he transferred the sum of N100 million from the ITC account to his private company.
The backstory: Anyanwu was a Commissioner during the administration of Rochas Okorocha.
An Anonymous petitioner in Imo State had accused him of looting public funds, abusing his office, and embezzlement while holding office as the Commissioner for Transport in Imo State between 2015 and 2019.
He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2020 on three counts of charges bordering on fraud, looting of public funds and stealing.
Upon arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
According to EFCC, he violated the public procurement act, abused his office and used his office to gain an undue advantage in his dealings during his tenure as a commissioner and ITC chairman.
The EFCC said during his tenure as commissioner between 2015 and 2019, he 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 a public servant.
He also signed off another N80 million from government coffers directly to his private company account with the motive that he wanted to procuring some vehicles for ITC without due process and recourse to the public procurement act.
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