Nigerian Prison Fails to Present Binance Exec in Court

The Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has leveled allegations against the Nigerian Correctional Service, claiming it failed to ensure the appearance of Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan at the Federal High Court in Abuja. Gambaryan is currently facing charges of tax evasion, and he was expected to make a court appearance on May 22. He did not show up for his arraignment.

Prosecution counsel Moses Idehu expressed his confusion regarding Gambaryan’s absence in court. He mentioned that no successful communication had been established with the officials at the correctional center to determine why Gambaryan was not brought from custody. Consequently, Idehu sought a brief postponement of the case, aiming to address the issue later in the day.

Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court decided to adjourn Gambaryan’s arraignment until June 14. This decision did not sit well with T.J. Krukrubo, SAN, the defense counsel for Binance, who objected to the prosecution’s failure to present his client in court as scheduled.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chukwuka Ikwuazo, representing Gambaryan, seized the opportunity to request the judge to order FIRS to remove the name of Nadeem Anjarwalla from the amended charges. Anjarwalla has been declared “at large,” and their name’s presence on the charge sheet was deemed inappropriate by the defense. The FIRS lawyer agreed to take the necessary steps to remove Anjarwalla’s name from the charges.

Tigran Gambaryan was relocated to the Kuje Correctional Centre Abuja in April 2024 after he pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission. Since his bail application was denied, he remains in detention. The charges against him involve concealing the origin of funds generated by Binance in Nigeria, amounting to a substantial $35,400,000.

The sanctions against Binance and its executives date back to March 2024, when the FIRS issued tax evasion charges against the cryptocurrency exchange. These charges included failure to register with FIRS, non-payment of company income tax, failure to pay value-added tax, and facilitating tax evasion. The Nigerian Government has accused Binance of influencing foreign exchange (FX) rates, leading to stricter regulatory scrutiny of crypto trading platforms in the country.

Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan who serves as the regional manager for Africa, and Gambaryan, a 39-year-old American responsible for financial crime compliance, were both detained on February 28. These detentions were part of the authorities’ crackdown on the alleged financial misconduct linked to Binance’s operations in Nigeria.

In the wake of these legal battles, Binance’s operations and its relationship with Nigerian regulators continue to be under the microscope. The outcome of these cases could have significant implications on the regulatory environment for cryptocurrency exchanges in Nigeria, thereby impacting the broader landscape of financial technology in the region.

12 thoughts on “Nigerian Prison Fails to Present Binance Exec in Court

  1. How can FIRS and the correctional service drop the ball like this? It’s a major case with significant implications!

  2. So frustrating to see such lack of coordination in serious legal matters. Gambaryan should have been in court as planned!

  3. Great read! Highlighting significant issues within the crypto market in Nigeria.

  4. Detailed and informative! Congratulations to the reporting team for this excellent work. 📰

  5. Another adjournment? This just drags out the situation even longer. Disappointing.

  6. Absolutely unacceptable! This is not the way to handle a high-profile case. What does this say about trust in the justice system?

  7. Interesting times for cryptocurrency in Nigeria! This article gives great perspective.

  8. Justice delayed is justice denied. This adjournment is unacceptable and only serves to further tarnish the reputation of the justice system.

  9. The Nigerian Correctional Service needs a serious overhaul if they can’t even bring a detainee to court on a scheduled date.

  10. A simple thing like ensuring a detainee appears in court and they can’t manage it? What’s really going on behind the scenes?

  11. Fascinating read! Can’t wait to see how this unfolds. Cryptocurrency regulations in Nigeria are definitely evolving!

  12. An informative piece on the ongoing legal challenges with Binance. Transparency in financial dealings is critical!

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