Dapo Abiodun, Governor of Ogun State, has suspended Abidemi Rufai, his Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties, who was arrested in the United States of America over $350 million (N133 billion) unemployment benefits fraud.
Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, confirmed the development in an interview on Tuesday.
“I can confirm that he (Abidemi Rufai) is a political appointee of Gov Abiodun and we are disturbed by the news. His suspension has been ordered. That I can confirm to you,” Somorin told Daily Post.
“The governor cannot be held responsible for his conduct. He has been suspended to answer charges. He is presumed innocent. He should face the law and answer the charges against him.”
Rufai was arrested on Friday evening at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) based on criminal complaint, according to the Seattle Times of the US.
According to the newspaper, the 42-year-old suspect appeared before a federal court on Saturday on charges alleging he used the identities of more than 100 Washington residents to fraudulently receive over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
The US Department of Justice, District of Washington alleged that Rufai used the pseudonym Sandy Tang and the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with Employment Security Department for unemployment benefits last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rufai is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday. He risks 30 years in prison if found guilty of the allegation.