EFCC Arraigns Rochas Okorocha’s Commissioner for Stealing N180m (Photo)

EFCC Arraigns Rochas Okorocha’s Commissioner for Stealing N180m (Photo)

A former Transportation Commissioner and president of the Imo State Transportation Company in the Rochas Okorocha administration has been arrested.

Lasberry Okafor Anyanwu was indicted on Thursday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Enugu Zone Office before Judge EF Njemanze of the Imo State High Court for alleged fraud.

Anyanwu, former Commissioner of Transportation and president of Imo State Transport Company in the Rochas Okorocha administration, is being indicted on four counts, bordering on conspiracy, abuse of power, theft and misappropriation of public funds in the amount of 180 million naira. Count three of the load read,

That you, Prince Lasberry Okafor Anyanwu, also known as Lasberry Oka, sometime between November 6, 2017 and November 10, 2017 in Owerri, Imo State, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, While serving as Chairman of the Imo Transport Company Review Committee, he used his office to give himself a corrupt advantage, when he caused the transfer of the sum of N100 million (one hundred million Nairas) only, owned by Imo Transport Company into his Imo account. Microfinance Bank with Polaris Bank to a different Polaris Bank account with number: 40906668828, belonging to Oma Oil & Industries Ltd, a company of which you are a shareholder / director / president / CEO and signatory to your bank account, contrary to Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Act 2000 “.

He pleaded not guilty to all charges, after which the prosecutor, Victor Okereke, requested a trial date and that the court place him in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Service, pending trial. Defense attorney JC Ezem, however, submitted a request for bail from Anyanwu. Judge Njemanze admitted him on bail for the sum of N20 million, with two bonds, that he must be a resident of Owerri; swear affidavit of means and deposit two passports each. He deferred the matter until January 21 and 28, 2021 and February 4 and 11, 2021.

The problems began for the defendant following a petition alleging that he used his position as Imo State Transportation Commissioner to transfer ownership of the state’s transportation company to his private company, Oma Oil / Industries Ltd.

The EFCC investigation showed that the defendant, through an opaque concession agreement with the state government, transferred the administrative functions of the state transportation company to his Oma Oil / Industries Ltd, so that the company’s finances from state transportation were channeled to his company. Furthermore, it was discovered that on January 13, 2017, the defendant diverted and transferred the sum of N80 million from the Imo State Ministry of Transport to his Oma Oil / Industries Ltd and another N100 million to the same company between 6 and January 6. November 10, 2017 by Imo. Account of the state transport company.

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