Saturday, December 4, 2021

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Gov Abiodun suspends SSA over $350K fraud in US

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has suspended his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Special Duties, Abidemi Rufai, following his arrest in New York by FBI agents over his alleged involvement in a $350K unemployment benefit fraud.

Rufai’s arrest was announced by the United States in a statement titled: ‘Nigerian citizen charged with defrauding Washington State Employment Security Department of over $350,000’ on Monday.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa Gorman, Rufai was arrested on Friday evening at JFK Airport in New York on a criminal complaint charging him with wire fraud “for his scheme to steal over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department.”

The Ogun governor’s SSA who allegedly disguised as ‘Sandy Tang’ made his initial appearance on Saturday in New York and is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday.

Reacting to the development, Ogun State Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, Abiodun disclosed that the SSA has been suspended.

“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 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.

“Gov. 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,” he said.

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