This might not be the best of time for the Ogun State Governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun. This is because the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abeokuta has been called upon to once again look into the criminal allegations bothering on Card Fraud and stolen identity which had haunted the Governor since his foray into public office.
According to documents and records before the Election Petition Tribunal, Dapo Abiodun was alleged to be a perpetual forger. He was said to have been arrested on the 11th day of July 1986 for an offence involving credit card fraud, dishonesty, Grand Theft (second degree) uttering forged instrument, petty theft, credit card theft and resisting arrest with violence in Miami Dade, Florida, United States of America.
The documents presented before the Tribunal alleged that Abiodun criminally used the alias of “Shawn Michael Davis” in covering his criminal activities in the United States of America before his track-down and eventual exposure and arrest by the Metro-Dade Police Department, Dade County, Florida, United States of America.
The records also show that the criminal case against Dapo Abiodun “was officially incidented as Case Number 485503-G, while he was convicted and jailed at the Metropolitan Dade County Correction and Rehabilitation Department, Dade County, Florida, United States of America with his jail booking record number – 89436,”
Documents before the tribunal also showed a certified true copy of the Jail Booking Record of the Metropolitan Dade County Correctional and Rehabilitation Department, which includes the mug shot photograph of Mr. Dapo Abiodun, clearly identifying Dapo Abiodun, including his Fingerprint Record and signature.
A check on the records before the Tribunal also revealed that a Court official of the Circuit and County Courts of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, United States of America, will be testifying against Dapo Abiodun to produce the certified true copies of the Court records relating to the governor’s alleged past criminal activities in the United States.
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun
Mr. Abiodun has been having a running battle with alleged criminal records in the US bothering on stolen identity and card frauds. When the matter was first made public a few years ago, some of his handlers have claimed that alleged offence was or might have been committed over 10 years ago which they claimed is statute barred and beyond the stipulated legal timeframe for which he cannot hold public office.
Again, Mr. Abiodun was said to have applied to the authority in the United States for a redaction of the criminal records. His lawyers have also argued on technicalities of pre and post election matters each time the matter was brought before the courts.
But a new dimension appears to have been thrown into this criminal matter, because this is the first time that an “Approver” or a witness is being brought from the United States to stand against Dapo Abiodun on his alleged criminal past.
A source close to the Tribunal in Abeokuta revealed; “The matter here is a bit complex, and I will keep watching, I am wondering how the Governor will navigate out of this complex web of criminality weaved around him. He is not being challenged this time on his past criminal activities, rather a new and recent one which is enveloped around his past. Granted that the offence might have been statute barred, but he lied under Oath in the form that he submitted to INEC in the section where he was asked if he has ever been convicted before.
“This will be a very interesting case, the perjury, if established, is on two counts, apart from the one bothering on the Card fraud, there is also a section of the INEC form that requires that one should disclose if he or she has at any time changed or borne another name before. If established, Dapo Abiodun might not only be declared unqualified to contest and removed from office, he might end up being sent to jail because perjury does not carry any option of fine, at least not in Nigeria’s legal system for now.”
Mr. Dapo Abiodun is not new to controversy bothering on fraud and Identity Theft. A few years ago one of his aides, Abidemi Rufai was arrested in the United States for fraud, and the Ogun State Governor was reportedly implicated in statements he was quoted to have made to the US authorities. Some newspaper reports claim that Mr. Abiodun pays Abidemi Rufai for referrals in a circumstance which is still shady and unclear.