Court freezes Abidemi Rufai’s bank accounts, seizes Lekki home

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A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the interim forfeiture of the funds and properties traced to Abidemi Rufai, the suspended aide of the Ogun state Governor, who is facing wire fraud charges in the United States.

Justice Tijjani Ringim made the order following an ex parte motion filed and argued by a counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), Ebuka Okongwu.

The order covers Rufai’s property located at House 11, Omodayo Awotuga Street, Bera Estate, Chevy View, Lekki, Lagos, and funds in his three bank accounts.

The EFCC joined Rufai, his firm Omo Mayodele Global Investment and Sterling Bank Plc as the 1st, 2nd and third respondents in the suit.

Okongwu told the judge that it was essential for the court to grant the prayer of interim forfeiture to prevent further dissipation of the defendants’ funds in his Sterling Bank account.

He 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 (FBI).The investigator noted that Rufai had already dissipated a suspicious ₦29.37m in eight tranches.

Justice Ringim also ordered the EFCC to publish the order within 14 days from Tuesday for any interested party to show cause why the funds and properties should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He thereafter adjourned proceedings till December 1, 2021.

Rufai was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport in New York on May 14 over alleged $350,000 COVID-19 unemployment fraud from Washington State Employment Security Department, in the United States.




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