SaharaReporters has exclusively obtained the criminal record of how Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun was jailed in 1986 for credit card fraud in Miami Dade Florida, USA.
The governor was said to have used a pseudo name (Shawn Michael Davids) with the aim of concealing his criminal identity.
The record revealed that Dapo Abiodun was jailed for committing criminal offences which bordered on credit card fraud, petty theft and check forgery.
He was arrested on November 7, 1986, for fighting and injuring a police officer in an attempt to resist arrest.
While being processed at the station, his fingerprint was run through the crime database and it was discovered that the Adedapo Oluseun Abiodun being processed for detention was the same as Shawn Michael Davids.
His criminal record and history were thus cemented and he was jailed.
According to documents obtained by SaharaReporters, Abiodun's jail number was 8600B9436.
In 2015, while contesting for the Ogun East Senatorial seat against the late Buruji Kasamu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he applied for the redaction of his criminal records in Miami Dade, Florida.
This act of concealment meant he could lie on his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) forms that he had no prior criminal records. A perjury offence that could have disqualified him from ever holding an appointive or elective office in Nigeria.
The redaction was granted in August 2015.
The redaction application details are as follows;
DATE...18th August 2015
It was processed by Harvey Euvin, the Miami Dade City Clerk of Court.
A source who spoke to SaharaReporters said they had in 2021 engaged the services of a US criminal attorney (name withheld) through whom they made an application to get the unredacted document and the request was granted.
According to the unredacted documents, the "NOLLE PROSEQUI" indicated in the criminal records was a decision of the police and the District Attorney (DA) not to proceed to trial in exchange for Dapo's cooperation to name his accomplices.
Abiodun's criminal past has made him ineligible to hold public office in line with the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A group under the auspices of Coalition of Ogun State Students (COSS) in a letter dated March 17, 2022, signed by its Convener, Comrade Oladimeji Uthman, has, however, given the governor two weeks to respond to the allegations against him as contained in the documents or face legal action.
The letter read in part, “Since your administration had previously responded to less important issues in the past, you must as a matter of urgency respond to the allegations above because your silence would be too inadequate to make this go away anytime soon.
"Secondly, your Excellency, we have now become objects of ridicule amongst fellow young adults across the country due to the widespread cases of ritual killings, financial crimes, and online fee frauds (aka Yahoo-Yahoo) in Ogun State.
“As the Chief Executive Officer of Ogun State, under whose administration these crimes are rife, where is the moral authority you would summon if you ordered the prosecution of anyone engaged in the criminal activities mentioned above if you choose to remain silent about an equally damning allegation of credit card fraud (Yahoo-Yahoo of the 1980s) made against your person?
"Finally, your Excellency, following the documents received from ADAPHAI (herewith attached), we contacted the Metropolitan Dade Police Department (MDPD) in Miami County, Florida and we wish to inform you that several documents much more damning than the ones released by ADAPHAI, detailing your criminal past, were released to us. Therefore, if Section 182, subsection (d)(e)(j), Section 138 (a)(1) and 31(5)(6) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) are to be considered, coupled with relevant sections of the Electoral Act and Sections 117, 120 and 125a of the Criminal Code Act, we infer that you are not qualified to hold public office in Nigeria."
The group also asked the State House of Assembly to investigate the governor’s past and take appropriate legislative action.
Meanwhile, when SaharaReporters contacted the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin for reaction on the documents, the governor’s aide neither answered the calls nor replied to a text message sent to him.
Abiodun’s Aide Also Charged In the US For Fraud
It would be recalled that the governor had in May 2021 suspended his aide, Abidemi Rufai, who was arrested in the United States for an alleged $350,000 (about N140 million) COVID-19 unemployment fraud.
Rufai was arrested at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York based on a criminal complaint.
He was subsequently charged with defrauding the 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.
The governor was also indicted in the investigation of the global International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)-led Pandora Papers project.
The investigation showed that the governor was the ultimate beneficial owner of companies incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and that he failed to declare the companies and whatever assets they hold in his asset declaration filings with the Code of Conduct Bureau.