Estimated reading time: 6 minute(s)
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has told the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how Abidemi Rufai , the suspended aide of Ogun state Governor Dapo Abiodun secretly withdrew N29.7m from one of his account while he was in London Prison .
Rufai was Abiodun’s former Senior Special Assistant to Abiodun before he was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.suspended aide was facing wire fraud charges in the United States of America.
He was arrested by the FBI at the John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on May 14 over alleged $350,000 COVID-19 unemployment fraud from the Washington State Employment Security Department, USA.
He was indicted for alleged conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
EFCC counsel, Ebuka Okongwu had sought the court order to forfeiture of Rufai account through an ex parte motion .
He told the judge, Justice Tijjani Ringim
that it was essential for the court to grant the prayers of interim forfeiture to prevent further dissipation of the defendant’s funds in his Sterling Bank account.
The EFCC had joined Rufai, his firm; Omo Mayodele Global Investment, and Sterling Bank Plc as the first, second and third respondents in the suit.
He then 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.
He said “Rufai had already dissipated a suspicious N29.37m in tranches of N5m, N5m, N2.7m, N1.1m, N2m, N2m, N2m, and N5m. The funds were warehoused in his accounts in three banks.”
The court however granted the request and ordered the interim forfeiture of the funds and property traced to Rufai.
The court order, which was granted on Tuesday, covered Rufai’s property at House 11, Omodayo Awotuga Street, Bera Estate, Chevy View, Lekki, Lagos, and funds in his accounts domiciled in Sterling and Zenith banks.
Justice Ringim, in a bench ruling, granted the EFCC’s order as prayed in the motion paper.
The judge also ordered the EFCC to publish the order within 14 days from Tuesday for any interested party to show cause why the funds and property should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Justice Ringim adjourned further proceedings till December 1, 2021. ,,