- A former aide to the governor of Ogun state, Dapo Abiodun, has been jailed by a court in the United States of America
- The aide, Abidemi Rufai was handed a five-year jail sentence by the US District Court in Tacoma, Washington presided by Judge Benjamin Settle
- Rufai also apologised to the court for committing wire fraud against the state while blaming his gambliing addiction and struggling to provide for his immediate family
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Abidemi Rufai, a former aide to the governor of Ogun state, Dapo Abiodun, has been sentenced to five years in prison for stealing over $500,000 funds meant for COVID-19 pandemic relief in the United States of America.
New Telegraph reports that who was arrested at the JFK International Airport in New York in May 2021, had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges.
Tried before the US District Court in Tacoma, Washington, Judge Benjamin Settle issued the sentence on Rufai on Monday, September 26.
According to Settle's judgement, Rufai is also mandated to pay over $600,000 in restitution for the crime of wire fraud committed.
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US prosecutors had earlier said that Rufai, 45, had a history of using stolen identities to file for emergency relief after hurricanes in Texas and Florida.
According to Seattle US Attorney, Nick Brown, Rufai is always at the peak of his craft whenever distraction strikes in the states.
Nick Brown said:
“Whether it was hurricane disaster relief, small business loans, or COVID unemployment benefits, he stole aid that should have gone to disaster victims in the United States.”
Apologising to the court, Rufai described his actions as outrageous and inexcusable. He also blamed his actions on a gambliing addiction and pressure to provide for his wife and children.
He wrote in a letter to the court:
“Your honour, I am now a rehabilitated man that is ready to live a crime-free life and also be a responsible man to my family and my community as a whole."
Why granting bail to Abidemi Rufai is dangerous, US govt
The United States (US) justice department has revealed why it will be dangerous to grant a bail to Abidemi Rufai, an aide to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state.
A letter to Ramon Reyes, the US magistrate judge in Eastern District of New York, said if Rufai escapes to Nigeria after being granted bail,.
The court said that possible extradition will be extraordinarily difficult or impossible because of his ties to the Nigerian government.
Again, EFCC apprehends Oluomo, two others for alleged fraud
Oluomo and two others will be facing an 11-count charge bothering on stealing, conspiracy, and a host of others.
Meanwhile, the camp of the embattled lawmaker is yet to issue a statement about the recent development.