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Detained Binance executive drags EFCC, NSA to court


Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan has has dragged the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to court alleging violations of his fundamental rights.

In a filing dated March 18 and presented by his lawyer Olujoke Aliyu from Aluko and Oyebode Law Firm, Gambaryan sought redress before Justice Inyang Ekwo, requesting five reliefs. Similarly, Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa regional manager who escaped custody on March 22, initiated a separate suit before Justice Ekwo.

Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, in the suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/356/24 and FHC/ABJ/CS/355/24, had sued the Office of NSA (ONSA) and EFCC as 1st and 2nd respondents.

Gambaryan, a US citizen overseeing financial crime compliance at the crypto exchange platform, alleged that his detention and the confiscation of his international travel passport violated Section 35 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution, constituting a breach of his fundamental right to personal liberty. He further requested the court to order his immediate release and the return of his passport. Additionally, he sought an injunction preventing further detention related to any Binance investigations and demanded a public apology from the respondents, along with costs incurred.

Gambaryan stated that he visited Nigeria on February 26 alongside Nadeem Anjarwalla, representing Binance, in response to invitations from ONSA and EFCC. Despite attending the meeting as requested, both were detained afterward without formal charges.

During the court proceedings, T.J. Krukrubo, SAN, representing Anjarwalla and Gambaryan, informed the court of the respondents’ absence despite being served. Krukrubo also mentioned their notice of withdrawal of legal representation for Anjarwalla, filed on March 26.

Justice Ekwo noted the withdrawal of legal representation and adjourned the matter to April 8 to allow the applicants to seek new representation and give the respondents an opportunity to appear.

In Gambaryan’s case, Krukrubo stated that although the processes were served on ONSA and EFCC, they still had time to respond. He requested an adjournment, indicating that the respondents’ deadline to file their applications would expire the following week.

Consequently, Justice Ekwo scheduled the next hearing for April 8 to continue proceedings.

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