Nekpen Soyemi, a Nigerian and nurse who lives in the US has offered to guarantee a $300,000 bond in a bid to allow Abidemi Rufai, a fellow compatriot recently nabbed on fraud charges in United States to stay at her home pending trial.
It should be recalled that a federal judge in New York had earlier ruled that Rufai could be released from detention before his trial commences despite opposition by prosecutors.
The 42-year-old Rufai would be restricted to travel in New York City and Western Washington and would be heavily monitored with electronic surveillance.
Recently, federal prosecutors in Seattle forwarded a letter to a federal magistrate judge Ramon Reyes raising questions about money allegedly paid into a bank account in nurse Soyemi’s name.
Soyemi told the judge that her father opened the account for her when she was in college. She said she was not aware of the transaction referred to by prosecutors.
However, Reyes stalled Rufai’s release to allow for prosecutors’ appeal. Also, he noted that Rufai would need to address an immigration detainer levelled against him by the US Department of Homeland Security.
Under the detainer, Rufai could be taken by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers after his release and potentially held for deportation.
Rufai’s attorney, Michael Barrows, said the conditions of his bail “were appropriate to secure his future attendance in court.”
Federal prosecutors revealed they were preparing their appeal.
Rufai was arrested on May 14 when he was trying to travel to Nigeria from New York and was initially denied bail after his brother who is a New York attorney refused to post a $300,000 surety bond.
He is accused of taking over $350,000 in jobless benefits from the Washington state Employment Security Department with fake identities last year.