By Kayode Sanni-Arewa
A former Commissioner for Transport in Imo State, Laz Anyanwu, was on Tuesday sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Anyanwu, who served during the administration of ex-governor Rochas Okorocha, was sentenced after he was found guilty of the charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judge, K. A Lewanya, while sentencing the former commissioner said that the jail term would serve concurrently.
The judge said that the convict was found guilty of fraud , looting of public funds and stealing.
The justice said that the former commissioner was found guilty of 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, which is against section 12 and 19 of the ICPC Act 2020.
The judge held that Anyanwu by that action had violated the Public Procurement Act, abused his office and used his office 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 judge said that the EFCC lawyer, Micheal Ani, was able to proof beyond reasonable doubt that when Anyanwu was commissioner for transport 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 section 12 and 19 of the ICPC Act 2020 for a public servant.
The judge also said that the ex-commissioner signed 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.
The judge, while sentencing him to prison, said the former commissioner looted the sum of N180 million found in his account said to be for the state transport company.