$350,000 fraud: Court freezes Abiodun aide’s accounts, seizes property

Justice Tijjani Garba Ringim of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has ordered the interim forfeiture of the funds as well as property traced to the suspended aide to Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state, Abidemi Rufai.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Head, Media & Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, in a press statement, Wednesday, in Abuja, said Justice Ringim gave the order, following an ex parte application filed by the EFCC.

He said also joined as respondents were Rufai’s firm, Omo Mayodele Global Investment, and Sterling Bank Plc as second and third respondents in the suit.

The Spokesperson said the order covers his property located at 11, Omodayo Awotuga Street, Bera Estate, Chevy View, Lekki, Lagos, and funds in his accounts domiciled in Sterling and Zenith Banks.

Uwujaren said, “Investigation revealed that Rufai, who was arrested for an alleged $350,000 fraud in the United States of America, USA, had dissipated the sum of N29.37m in the accounts, 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, investigation revealed, were housed in his accounts in three different banks.”

According to him, “Moving the application on Tuesday, Emeka Okongwu, counsel to the Commission, urged the court to grant the applicant’s prayers in order to prevent further dissipation of the funds in the bank.

“Justice Ringim granted the EFCC’s prayers and also held that: I am satisfied by the averment in the affidavit deposed to by Usman Abdulhamid and the legal submission of the counsel that this application should succeed and the same is accordingly granted as prayed.”

The Judge also ordered the EFCC to publish the Order within 14 days from today for any interested party to show cause why the funds and properties should not be permanently forfeited to the federal government of Nigeria.”

He said the Judge adjourned further hearing till December 1, 2021.

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