Ogun State Governor Suspends His Aide, Abidemi Rufai, After Arrest By FBI For COVID-19 Benefits Scam

 Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun state, has suspended Abidemi Rufai, his aide who was arrested in the US over alleged $350,000 unemployment benefits fraud.


Rufai, who was appointed by the governor in August 2020, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Friday at JFK Airport in New York.

The 42-year-old political aide has been scheduled for a detention hearing on Wednesday.

In a statement on Tuesday, Kunle Somorin, the governor’s spokesperson, described Rufai’s alleged involvement in fraud as disturbing. He added that Abiodun cannot be held responsible for Rufai’s actions.

“Governor cannot be held responsible for the actions of a full-grown adult,” Somorin said.

“We received the very disturbing news of the arrest of one of the governor’s political appointees, Mr Abidemi Rufai in New York over alleged unemployment benefits and fraud in the United States, this morning.

“While the Governor cannot be held responsible for the actions of a full-grown adult, especially outside the jurisdiction of Ogun and Nigeria, he has since suspended the suspect from office to enable him to answer the charges levelled against him.

“The Governor wishes to condemn any act capable of undermining his determination to institute an open, transparent, accountable and morally upright behaviour in the State and in governance.

“Abiodun remains committed to his agenda of building our future together and will not condone criminals either in his government or the state in general.”

In March, Nigeria ranked 16th in the FBI global cybercrime victims report.

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