The United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation have arrested Abidemi Rufai, a Senior Special Assistant to Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, over $350,000 employment fraud.
Rufai was arrested on Friday evening at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York based on criminal complaint.
He was subsequently charged with defrauding Washington State Employment Security Department of over $350,000.
According to the US Department of Justice, District of Washington, 42-year-old Rufai was alleged to have used the pseudonym Sandy Tang and the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with Employment Security Department for unemployment benefits last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Acting US Attorney Tessa Gorman said, “Rufai also filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania. Rufai used variations of a single e-mail address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems. By using this practice, Rufai made it appear that each claim was connected with a different email account.”
The criminal complaint also said Rufai mailed some of the proceeds of his fraud to the Jamaica and New York addresses of his relatives with more than $288,000 deposits between March and August 2020.
“Since the first fraud reports to our office in April 2020, we have worked diligently with a federal law enforcement team to track down the criminals who stole funds designated for pandemic relief,” said Gorman. “This is the first, but will not be the last, significant arrest in our ongoing investigation of ESD fraud.”
Special Agent in Charge FBI Seattle, Donald Voiret, said, “Greed is a powerful motivator. Unfortunately, the greed alleged to this defendant affects all taxpayers. The FBI and our partners will not stand idly by while individuals attempt to defraud programs meant to assist American workers and families suffering the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Rufai made his initial appearance last Saturday in New York and he is scheduled for a detention hearing Wednesday. Rufai risks 30 years in prison if found guilty of wire fraud.
The Governor has since suspended Rufai .
DSS Summon Father Mbaka to Abuja For Questioning
Operatives of the Department of State Services have summoned controversial priest, Ejike Mbaka, to Abuja for questioning.
The DSS operatives visited the church to drop the letter of invitation. However, they didn’t meet the cleric at the church premises.
Details of why the intelligence unit summoned the priest were not stated but it might not be unconnected with Mbaka’s criticism of the Buhari government in recent times.
Mbaka, the Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry Enugu, has attracted attention lately with his criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari government.
It will be recalled that the priest recently said God had rejected the President and unhappy with his leadership.
Reacting to the summon in a video obtained , Mbaka said, “I got a call that the DSS people from Abuja came here (Enugu) with a letter of invitation to Abuja. Over what? What I cannot understand is that the mother church in Nigeria should be “cowed down” to lilliputian.
“The church is a lion and lamb. The bible says if the foundation is destroyed, what can the righteous do. Every priest is a prophet and a king. We must protect the sheep. In this time, when killings are every day story, when there is hunger everywhere, people do not have hope again. The only hope I have is God. Anybody who will stop people from worshipping here will regret it.
“I am the servant here. They don’t understand history. I spoke against Abacha. I went to Minna to tell Babangida what was wrong in his time. I spoke to Obasanjo face to face. I perform under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. I ministered to the late President Yaradua. I am being used by a higher being called the Holy Spirit.
“If they are attacking me here and there, no wahala (no problem). The Bible says if God is for us, who can be against us? Only God can be God. I heard the security people did not accept the letter. They asked them to come on Monday to give me the letter. If they know the anointing here is too hot for them, let them change. I will not keep quiet.”
Bandits Kill 26 in Deadly Attack on Zamfara State
Bandits have killed 26 persons including a police officer in another deadly attack on some communities in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Saturday.
The spokesperson of the Zamfara Police Command, Shehu Mohammed explained that the assailants were armed with sophisticated weapons and invaded Tofa village in large numbers, shooting sporadically and killing some of the villagers.
Shehu noted that the gunmen were on their way to carry out another attack in Samawa when they were engaged in a gun battle with the police tactical operatives stationed in the village.
Some of the bandits, he said, were wounded in the duel. The attackers were said to be returning to the community on Saturday, preventing the villagers from burying their own.
The latest assault on the northwestern state follows a similar incident in the area on Thursday where 12 farmers were killed and nine others severely wounded.
Channels TV gathered that the armed bandits launched the attack when the farmers were in their respective farmlands trying to clear their lands in preparation for this year’s farming activities.
The incident which took place in Magami and Mayaba communities in Gusau local government area of Zamfara State saw the bandits also carting away livestock and other valuables.
It was also said that the twelve persons killed were buried according to Islamic rites while those injured are receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital.
A day before the incident, bandits had attacked a Fulani settlement on the outskirts of Anka town along the Bagega-Anka Road in Zamfara State.
Sources disclosed that the armed men stormed the area at about 5 pm on Wednesday and began to shoot sporadically.
But the bandits were engaged in a gun duel by the policemen who were stationed in a mining company along the road, an eyewitness said on Thursday.
He stated that no life was lost in the attack, but the bandits rustled an unspecified number of cows belonging to members of the community.
The witness said a motorcycle belonging to the leader of Fulani in Anka was also set ablaze by the armed bandits.
ISWAP Confirms Shekau’s Death, Says He Blew Himself Up
The Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) has confirmed the death of former Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, saying he blew himself up after refusing to surrender when his hideout was invaded on Wednesday, May 19.
This was contained in a message from ISWAP leader, Abu Musab Albarnawi, whose recording was obtained by HumAngle, an online medium.
According to the HumAngle report, Abu Musab Albarnawi, in his address which was delivered in Hausa, described Shekau as the leader of disobedience and corruption, saying his fighters rejoiced over his death. He said the former terrorist leader who took over after the death of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf in 2009, was apprehended “in the most humiliating manner.”
Albarnawi said: “This was someone who committed unimaginable terrorism. How many had he wasted? How many had he killed? How many had he terrorised? But Allah left him alone and prolonged his life. When it was time, Allah set out brave soldiers after receiving orders from Amirul Muminin (leader of the believers),” he said.
ISWAP, which broke away from Shekau’s Boko Haram faction in 2016, disagreed with the late extremist leader over his excessive use of force, especially on Muslims in areas under his influence.
According to Abu Musab Albarnawi, the interim leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ordered them to take action on Shekau for deviating and killing “believers.”
ISWAP fighters then took their arms, travelled through the Sahara, went into Shekau’s enclave, and engaged in a gun battle with his followers.
He initially escaped and roamed the bushes of Sambisa for five days, where he suffered seriously. However, ISWAP fighters were able to locate him.
Abu Musab narrated how Shekau managed to run away a second time but was chased down. The rival fighters urged him and his followers to repent, assuring him that if the ISIS leader decided to make him their leader after he surrendered, they would have no choice but to obey.
He added: “Shekau preferred to be humiliated in the afterlife than getting humiliated on earth.” He killed himself instantly by detonating an explosive, exactly as HumAngle reported a day after the incident.
Abu Musab urged ISWAP fighters in Lake Chad not to sit idly and watch a sub-faction of Boko Haram still loyal to Shekau invade their homes, kill and abduct their wives and children, and turn them into slaves.
He urged the rival terror group to choose dialogue against fighting; saying however that their end would be soon if they choose war and terrorism.
“Haven’t you seen what happened to your leader who had more strength, more experience than you, yet he was defeated?”, Abu Musab said.
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