Laz Okoroafor-Anyanwu, a former Imo state commissioner for transport, has been sentenced to three years in prison by a high court in Owerri for fraud.
On Tuesday, the presiding judge, K.A. Lewanya, pronounced Okoroafor-Anyanwu guilty of diverting N180 million of public monies into a private firm account where he is the sole stakeholder and signatory.
At the time, the convict was both the commissioner for transport and the head of the Imo state transport company’s (ITC) interim committee.
During his time as a commissioner and ITC chairman, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said he broke the Public Procurement Act, abused his office, and used it to get an unfair advantage in his dealings.
The EFCC said that between 2015 and 2019 when Okoroafor-Anyanwu was commissioner, he moved N100 million from the ITC account to his private company, Oma Oil Industries Limited. This is against sections 12 and 19 of the ICPC act 2020 for public servants.
He also gave his approval for the transfer of another N80 million from government funds to his private company account. This was done under the guise of buying vehicles for the management of ITC, but it was done without following the rules or using the public procurement act.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges when he was brought to court in 2020.
But the judge said that Michael Ani, EFCC’s lawyer, was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty.
The judge also told the Imo state transport company to get the stolen N180 million that was found in his account.