What to know about Abiodun’s aide arrested in US over alleged fraud

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The arrest now-suspended aide to Ogun Governor Dapo Abiodun, Abidemi Rufai, has elicited a flurry of reactions.

He was arrested in the US over alleged $350,000 (about N140 million) unemployment benefits fraud.

The Nation reports Rufai was arrested at the JFK Airport in New York on his way out the US and appeared before a court on May 15.

He is scheduled for a detention hearing on May 19.

Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman accused Rufai using an alias, Sandy Tang, to steal over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Department.

The Nation learnt US enforcement agents have been tracking the activities scammers linked to Nigeria exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to commit wire fraud, at least since May 2020.

Here are few things to know about him:

  • The 42-year-old property merchant is the owner Ecobet Sport Betting in Nigeria.
  • Checks by The Nation revealed Rufai popularly known as “Ruffy” contested for nomination as APC candidate in Ijebu Central Federal Constituency for House Representatives in the 2019 election.
  • He is from Ijebu-Ode and a member the popular Mayodele Family.
  • He was born on November 6, 1978.
  • Rufai is a graduate Lagos State University and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the same university.
  • He was appointed in 2019 into Economic Transition Committee and Work Groups by Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun under education, youth and sport category
  • He was also appointed by Governor Dapo Abiodun in August 2020 as Senior Special Assistant on special duties before he got suspended.