Binance Executive’s Legal Battle in Nigeria Hits Another Roadblock as Appeal Stalls

Binance Executive’s Legal Battle in Nigeria Hits Another Roadblock as Appeal Stalls
Adoption & Regulations
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Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan remained entangled in a legal battle with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with his bail application hearing being postponed yet again.

The Federal High Court in Abuja adjourned his case after the EFCC’s lawyer requested more time to respond to new issues Gambaryan’s defense team raised.

Gambaryan’s Appeal Adjourned

According to a local news report by Nairametrics, the presiding judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, consented to postpone the proceedings at the request of the EFCC’s lawyer, E. Iheanacho.

During the court session, Iheanacho explained that he needed more time to address new points Gambaryan’s defense team raised while citing a new affidavit from the exec’s defense. He said,

“Our right to a fair hearing should not be denied because justice rushed is justice denied.”

This delay adds to the ongoing legal troubles of the BINANCE executive, who has been in custody since pleading not guilty to money laundering charges. The EFCC accused him of helping the cryptocurrency exchange conceal $35.4 million in revenue from unlawful activities in Nigeria, including illegal forex dealings.

Meanwhile, Gambaryan’s lawyer Mark Mordi argued for his client’s release, pointing out the lack of response from the prosecution to the new affidavit submitted on April 16. The judge agreed to postpone the hearing to allow the prosecution to respond properly. The next court date is set for April 22, leaving Gambaryan in limbo.

Binance’s Nigerian Woes Deepen

Cryptocurrency platforms, including Binance, had gained popularity for trading the Nigerian naira currency amidst the country’s persistent challenges with chronic dollar shortages. However, Nigerian authorities accused Binance of exacerbating its currency difficulties, a claim that the exchange vehemently

Subsequently, the EFCC stepped up with its investigation and brought charges against Binance Holdings Limited, Gambaryan, and another company executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla.

In response to the Nigerian government’s crackdown on suspected money laundering activities, particularly targeting individuals allegedly using Binance for illicit purposes, the exchange halted all naira transactions, effectively withdrawing from the African nation’s market.

Meanwhile, Anjarwalla was located following a manhunt initiated from Nigeria, which ultimately led authorities to Kenya. The executive purportedly fled Nigeria by boarding a flight from Abuja with a Middle Eastern airline. Although his UK passport was confiscated by Nigerian authorities, he succeeded in boarding the flight using a Kenyan passport.

The Nigerian government is currently working with Interpol and Kenyan authorities to extradite Anjarwalla back to Nigeria. Upon his return, the Binance exec will face charges related to the alleged manipulation of the Naira and the facilitation of illicit fund transactions through the exchange.