A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of funds and properties traced to the suspended aide of Ogun Governor, Mr Abidemi Ganiyu Rufai, who is currently facing $350m unemployment benefit fraud in the United States.
The NATION reported that the forfeiture was extended to Rufai’s property located at House 11. Omodayo Awotuga Street, Bera Estate, Chevy View, Lekki, Lagos and funds in his accounts with two new generation banks.
According to Justice Tijjani Ringim, the order was sequel to an ex parte motion filed and argued by a counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Ebuka Okongwu.
In the suit, the EFCC joined Rufai and his firm Omo Mayodele Global Investment as first and third respondents in the suit.
The EFCC counsel told the judge that it was essential for the court to grant the prayer of interim forfeiture to preserve the res and prevent further dissipation of the defendants’ funds.
Okongwu also furnished the judge with an affidavit sworn to by an EFCC investigator, Usman Abdulhamid, detailing the agency’s investigation of Rufai in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
According to the investigator, Rufai had already dissipated a suspicious N29.37million in tranches of N5,000,000, N5,000,000, N2,730,000, N1,100,000, N2,040,000, N2,000,000, N2,000,000 and N5,000,000.
The funds were allegedly warehoused in his accounts in three banks.
WuzupNigeria reported that Rufai was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York on May 14 over alleged $350,000 COVID-19 unemployment fraud from Washington State Employment Security Department, in the United States.
Rufai was indicted for alleged conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Following his indictment and arrest, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun also announced his suspension from office.