The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Enugu Zonal Office has secured the conviction of one Walford Ezemalu, chairman and managing director of Anomak Hope Ventures Limited, before Justice O.A. Adegbehingbe of Ondo State High Court.
The convict faced a two-count charge, bordering on stealing to the tune of N6,630,000.00 (Six Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira), for which he received 14-year jail term of seven years each, to run concurrently, without option of fine. His company, Anomak Hope Ventures Limited (second defendant) was discharged and acquitted.
Ezemalu's road to jail began when one Nnolum, Managing Director of B.O. Nnolum and Sons Limited, an independent petroleum marketer, petitioned the EFCC, alleging that his company sometime in 2017 had an agreement with the convict to sell 33,000 litres of Automotive Gasoline Oil (AGO, diesel), at the rate of N200 per litre. That the agreement with the convict was to pay the money into his (plaintiff's) company's account but the convict on selling the product, asked the buyer to pay the money into his Anomak Hope Ventures Limited (second defendant) account.
The petitioner further alleged that after the sum of N6,630,000.00 was paid into the convict’s company account, the convict being the sole signatory to the account diverted the said money to his personal use.
One of the charges reads: "That you Walford Ezemalu, being a director of Anomak Hope Ventures Limited, sometime in March, 2017 in Akure, Ondo State, within the jurisdiction of the Ondo State High Court did commit felony to wit: stealing by fraudulently converting to your personal use the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) only, property of B.O Nnolum & Sons Limited which was paid to your company account, 0030440354, domiciled in Diamond Bank and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 390 of the Criminal Code Law Cap 37 Vol.1 Laws of Ondo State and punishable under Section 390(9) of the same Law."
Ezemalu was arraigned by the EFCC, alongside his company, Anomak Hope Ventures Limited on March 18, 2019. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting full blown trial. He was convicted and sentenced on August 8, 2019.