The suspended Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, Abidemi Rufai faces up to 30 years imprisonment if convicted of wire fraud.
According to the United States Department of Justice, wire fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison when it relates to benefits paid in connection with a presidentially-declared disaster or emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rufai was the Deputy Director-General of Dapo Abiodun’s 2019 gubernatorial campaign and has been charged to court.
“Since the first fraud reports to our office in April 2020, we have worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals, who stole funds designated for pandemic relief. This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of the ESD fraud,” Gorman said.
Governor Abiodun in his reaction described the news as disturbing and ordered for his immediate suspension.
The statement read: “The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has received the very disturbing news of the arrest of one of his political appointees, Mr Abidemi Rufai, in New York over alleged unemployment benefits fraud in the United States.
“In view of the gravity of these allegations, the governor has ordered the immediate suspension of the accused appointee. We will not condone any act bordering on criminality by anyone.”