The family of Abidemi Rufai, an aide to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, has begun a process of getting him a surety.

Mr Rufai is currently enmeshed in a $350,000 COVID-19 unemployment fraud in the United States.

He was arraigned on Wednesday before Magistrate Ramon Reyes.

He was ordered to remain in detention after his brother, Alaba Rufai, who is listed in court records was unable to afford the $300,000 surety bond for his bail.

The suspect’s lawyer, Michael Barrows of Garden City, New York was earlier reported to have said he would “seek alternative surety” and re-apply for Mr Rufai’s bail.

He was unable to achieve this until the close of work on Wednesday and his client was eventually transported to the Western District of Washington for future court proceedings.

Mr Barrows has, however, told journalists in the U.S. that his client’s family is already trying to get a surety.

“The family is still working on trying to get another friend or relative to serve as the surety. If they can, I will file for a rehearing,” the lawyer was quoted by The Seattle Times.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr Rufai was arrested while trying to jet out of the U.S. around 7:45 p.m. on May 14.

He was accused of using the identities of more than 100 Washington residents to steal more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

He allegedly perfected the fraud by bypassing security systems at the Employment Security Department using a simple feature of Google’s free Gmail service.

If found guilty, he is liable to 30 years imprisonment.

Mr Barrows, on Tuesday, said Mr Rufai denied “involvement in these transactions.”

Also, Governor Abiodun has suspended the suspect from his cabinet.

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