Following allegations by the United States Department of Justice that the surety provided by a suspended aide to Ogun Governor Abidemi Rufai is a suspected fraudster, the court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma, Rufai should remain in detention indefinitely.
He is accused of being involved in $350,000 COVID-19 unemployment fraud in the United States.
He was supposed to have been released on Wednesday but the court granted a motion by the US government for “a stay of the release order.”
The order was granted by U.S. District Judge, Benjamin Settle.
“The release order is STAYED, and the defendant shall remain in custody pending this Court’s decision on the government’s motion for review,” Mr Settle was quoted to have said.
Rufai was arrested at the airport on May 14 on his way to Amsterdam.
The U.S. said he used the identities of more than 100 Washington residents to steal more than $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESD) during the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Although his lawyer, Michael Barrows, said Rufai denied “involvement in these transactions” Governor Abiodun has suspended him.
Rufai’s first appearance in court was last Wednesday.
He was denied bail because his brother, Alaba Rufai, who is listed in court records, could not post the $300,000 surety bond for his bail.
He got a nurse, Nekpen Soyemi, to stand in for him as surety but the US government said Ms Soyemi is a suspected fraudster and could not be allowed to stand surety for Rufai.
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