Governor Dapo Abidoun of Ogun was paying convicted fraudster Bidemi Rufai “$50,000” per deal as a state appointee, U.S. court documents have revealed.
Prior to his arrest and conviction in the United States, Mr Bidemi Rufai was in August 2020 appointed senior special assistant on special duties by governor Abiodun.
In May 2021, Mr Rufai was apprehended by U.S. security officials at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport while returning to Nigeria.
Court documents listed that on May 26, 2021, he was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud and five counts of aggravated identity theft.
A Washington Post report states that Mr Abiodun was paying Mr Rufai $2,000 as his official salary as well as the $50,000 cut meant for “introducing people” to him.
The U.S.-based media outlet quoted Mr Rufai’s lawyers telling the federal court.
Both pays were much higher than the average Nigerian earnings in a government circle.
Mr Rufai appeared before a federal court a day after his arrest on charges alleging he used the identities of over 100 U.S. residents to fraudulently receive more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Mr Rufai, a serial fraudster, was sentenced in September to five years imprisonment for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft by the U.S. district court in Western Tacoma, Washington.
The court also ordered the forfeiture of $604,260, proceeds of wire fraud from Mr Rufai.