May 19, 2021
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Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has ordered the suspension of one of his aides, Abidemi Rufai, arrested by the government of the United States of America over allegation of employment benefit fraud.

Rufai, a senior special assistant (SSA) on Special Duties to Governor Abiodun was arrested last Friday by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the John F Kennedy International Airport, New York and charged for defrauding the Washington State Employment Security Department of over $350,000.

According to US authorities, he used the pseudonym Sandy Tang with which he stole identities of over 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with the Employment Security Department for unemployment benefits last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud,” said Tessa Gorman, acting US Attorney for the Western District of Washington, in a statement Monday.

Reacting to the incident, Ogun State governor, who described Rufai’s arrest as “a very disturbing news”, ordered the immediate suspension of the accused appointee from his government.

The governor in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, on Tuesday, said the gravity of the offence was too weighty to be overlooked.

“The governor wishes to restate his commitment to an open, transparent, accountable and morally upright administration and will not condone any act bordering on criminality by anyone,” the statement said.

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