Ex-commissioner in Okorocha’s government jailed for Fraud

Lasbery Okafor-Anyanwu, an Imo State commissioner of transport during Rochas Okoracha’s tenure as Imo State governor, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment for alleged fraud. 

Report has it that Okafor-Anyanwu was found guilty of the criminal charges labelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The presiding  judge, K. A Lewanya, held that the convict was found guilty of fraud, looting of public funds and stealing. The judge pointed out that Okafor-Anyanwu will serve his jail term concurrently.

Okafor-Anyanwu’s crime included diverting N180 million of state funds into a private company account where he was a major shareholder and sole signatory when he superintended and doubled as commissioner for transport and the Chairman Interim committee of the Imo State Transport Company (ITC), contrary to section 12 and 19 of the ICPC act 2020.

The judge said Anyanwu thus went contrary to the public procurement Act, was guilty of abuse of office and using his office to gain undue advantage in his dealings during his tenure as the commissioner for transport and the Chairman Interim committee of the ITC.

According to the judge, Micheal Ani, EFCC lawyer, was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that when Anyanwu was commissioner for transport between 2015 and 2019, he transferred N100 million from the ITC account to his private company named Oma oil industries Limited.

The ex-commissioner was also proven guilty of signing off another N80 million from government coffers directly to his private company account with the motive that he wanted to procure some vehicles for ITC without due process and recourse to the public procurement Act.

Lasbery was then asked by the court to return N180 million found in his account to the state transport firm.