US court shifts trial of suspended Ogun Governor’s aide to 2022

US court shifts trial of suspended Ogun Governor’s aide to 2022

The trial of Abidemi Rufai, suspended aide to Ogun Governor, Gov Dapo Abiodun, who was indicted for alleged conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft has been postponed to 2022, The Nation reports.

The trial has been postponed by five months.

Recall that Rufai was arrested at the JFK airport in New York on May 14 over alleged $350,000 COVID-19 unemployment fraud in the United States.

On July 26, the prosecutor submitted 97,000-page materials at the U.S. District for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma.

The indictment alleges that Rufai used the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with the Employment Security Department (ESD) for pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

Acting US Attorney Tessa M. Gorman had said Rufai filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania, using variations of a single email address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems.

The trial, earlier scheduled to commence on August 31, has now been postponed to February 1, 2022.

The new trial date is based on an agreement between the prosecution and the defence, describing the case as "unusual and complex".

Judge Benjamin Settle of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, at Tacoma said pretrial motions "shall be filed no later than December 9, 2021", and fixed pretrial conference for January 24, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

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