The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has come under criticism on social media, particularly Twitter, over his alleged involvement in a $350,000 (about N140 million) COVID-19 unemployment fraud in the United States.

The aide, Abidemi Rufai, was arrested last Friday by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York before boarding a flight to Amsterdam.

He is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday.

The money wired is said to be unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department.

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.

In reaction to the report, Mr Abiodun ordered the immediate suspension of Mr Rufai.

The governor’s chief press secretary, Kunle Somorin, confirmed the suspension to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.

Nigerians on Twitter have lamented over the fraud allegations and also criticised him for his involvement.

See Twitter reactions below:

Leadership selection in Nigeria is horrible. Scammers, Drug Lords, Human Traffickers, have hijacked the Government at all levels. They go into politics to clean their Dutty Money

Hushpuppi & Abidemi Rufai could become Governors of their respective States, if they weren’t caught.

— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) May 18, 2021

Senior Ogun State government official charged with defrauding Washington State Employment Security Department of over $350,000.

Abidemi Rufai, aka Sandy Tang, 42, is a Senior Adviser to the Ogun State Governor @dabiodunMFR pic.twitter.com/3314ewNDga

— Káyọ̀dé Ògúndámisí (@ogundamisi) May 18, 2021

Abidemi Rufai stole more than $350,000 from just one state in the US and he has been further indicted in 9 other states…. in a Nationwide Unemployment Identify theft thought to be around $630,000,000. Awon ebi Jaja….

— Mr. Kermit (@O_ssai) May 18, 2021

FBI 1yr full internship on Nigeria Instagram.✅

If Abidemi Rufai wasn’t caught, he wud have been peppering the poor.

Dropping hot teks on IG about Rags to Riches; aspiring & perspiring with giveaways. He’ll go to church & donate generously. An unknown NGO wud give him an award.

— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) May 18, 2021

Most Lekki luxury car dealerships & luxury boutiques, are fronts for cleaning: money laundering, Yahoo Yahoo + Wire fraud, & drug monies.

Don’t be surprised, Abidemi Rufai could be the owner of one of those luxury shops.

— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) May 18, 2021

The governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun, has suspended his aide, Abidemi Rufai, who was arrested in the United States for an alleged $350,000 (about N140 million) COVID-19 unemployment fraud.

— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) May 18, 2021

Abidemi Rufai is another exemplar of the Lekki Big Boy (Get Rich Or Die Trying). In a country with the poorest people of the world, some have chosen the “Road to Perdition.”

Not all you see on Social Media is legit. So don’t get carried away by the glitz & glamour. GREED KILLS!!

— NEFERTITI (@firstladyship) May 18, 2021

Abidemi Rufai entered US in Feb 2020, and scammed over 100 Americans using their SSN to claim UB.

He used a feature of Google I already explained on this street and used +234 as recovery phone number.

Guess what, the number was the number on his DS-160/CGIFEDERAL portal.

— Agboola Peter (@baba_Omoloro) May 18, 2021

If you don’t know the story, Don’t Envy the Glory.

Watch what you envy on here.

Abidemi Rufai’s story should be a lesson to everyone of us.

Many people are living a fake lifestyle.

He should be expecting 20/25 yrs in American prison.

Legit money does not grow on trees.

— OLUOMO OF DERBY 🇳🇬 🇬🇧 (@Oluomoofderby) May 18, 2021

This tweet is for those engaging in credit card fraud. You can continue stealing from the U.S but one day , you will get caught. They will carry out their investigations and nail you when you least expect it. Abidemi Rufai is just one of the many guys that will go down. pic.twitter.com/tn93y74JyO

— Girllikehelen (@girllikehelen) May 18, 2021

A sizable number of young and rich individuals living in Lekki are internet fraudsters irrespective of their profession. A place plagued by an insatiable lust for wealth and show-off.

Abidemi Rufai pic.twitter.com/qOviLk5pZU

— Sixteenth Sense (@Sixteenth_Sense) May 18, 2021

So that covid unemployment fund wey them dey find for U.S that time,

Nah Abidemi Rufai chop am.

Let me tell you again, No body can come and perspire me to maguire were kankan,

I’m doing well for myself and i will continue to push harder.👨‍🦯👨‍🦯

— Oloye Ayo Gbadebo (@holudaray) May 18, 2021

Last week Asekun Kehinde Sakiru, a former vice chairman of a LCDA, was arrested by NDLEA. He is allegedly a drug baron.

& now a SSA, Abidemi Rufai, arrested by FBI, allegedly a fraudster. 😪

— O.M Erhire (@ErhireMagnus) May 18, 2021

 

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