Binance Executives Initiate Legal Action Against Nigerian Government

Two executives from Binance, the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange, have each initiated legal proceedings against Nigerian government agencies, alleging violations of their fundamental rights.

Tigran Gambaryan, Binance’s Head of Financial Crime Compliance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Regional Manager for Africa, have each filed separate lawsuits against the Nigerian government. Their legal filings allege a violation of fundamental human rights following their detention upon arrival in Nigeria.

Gambaryan’s suit claims that his continued detention and the confiscation of his passport are in direct contravention of Nigeria’s constitution. His motion before the Federal High Court in Abuja also demands an apology from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Additionally, Gambaryan asserts that the federal government is leveraging his detainment as a means to exert pressure on Binance, emphasizing that his presence in Nigeria was solely for a meeting and not for any illicit purposes.

Simultaneously, Anjarwalla, who holds both British and Kenyan citizenship, has pursued a similar course of legal action, seeking relief from the courts over his detainment and demanding the return of his passport.

During the court proceedings, Gambaryan’s legal counsel informed Justice Inyang Ekwo that the applications had been served to the respondents, giving them time to respond. Consequently, the judge granted an adjournment, postponing the case to April 8.

This legal move comes amidst heightened scrutiny of Binance’s operations in Nigeria. The Nigerian government’s investigation into cryptocurrency exchanges has intensified, resulting in tax evasion charges against Binance and its executives. The Federal High Court of Nigeria is set to arraign Binance and the two executives on April 4, with the government indicating its intention to seek Interpol’s assistance in apprehending Anjarwalla for trial.

As the legal battle unfolds, observers within Nigeria’s crypto community have expressed varying opinions on the prospects of justice within the Nigerian judicial system. Concerns linger about the delay in legal recourse and the potential implications of Gambaryan and Anjarwalla’s detainment on Binance’s operations in the country.