The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on February 20, 2023 arraigned one Emmanuel Esekhaegbe before Justice Mohammed Yunusa of the Federal High Court Kano on an eight count charge of impersonation and stealing.
The defendant allegedly stole the identity of unsuspecting persons and used the same to open accounts with several banks for the purpose of receiving stolen funds from his victims’ bank accounts.
One of the charges against the defendant reads “That you, EMMANUEL ADEDEJI ESEKHAEGBE, on or about 28th January, 2022, in Kano within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did removed the sum of N200,000.00 from the account of one Nazir Abdulkadir Ahmed with account number 0164161006 domiciled with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc to purported accounts of Hassana Onyi Momoh and Famous Imokhai with Opay Digital Services Ltd before moving same to your Zenith Bank account with account number 2178627241, which sum you knew represented the proceed of an unlawful act and with the aim of disguising the origin of the money, thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.
In view of his plea, counsel for the prosecution, Sadiq Hussein, requested the court for a trial date.
Counsel representing the defendant Felix Nnana moved a bail application asking the court to admit his client to bail pending the determination of the case.
Mr Hussein objected to the application, arguing that the defendant was a threat to the public as the Commission discovered during investigation that he had opened numerous bank accounts using other people’s identities.
After listening to arguments canvassed by counsel, Justice Yunusa remanded the defendant and adjourned the matter till March 6, 2023 for ruling on bail application.
The investigation was triggered by a petitioner who alleged that sometime in January 2022, he woke up to a series of withdrawals from his bank account to the tune of N442, 499. The funds were transferred into the accounts of one Hassand Momo and Shafiu Abubakar. The defendant was tracked and arrested in Benin, Edo State