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BINANCE: Court to rule on Gambaryan’s request to leave Kuje prison on May 17

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, fixed May 17, 2024, to rule on the bail application of a detained Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, amid the Federal Government’s opposition.

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the date after Gambaryan (through his legal team) and the Nigerian government’s lawyers argued over the former’s request to leave the custody of the Kuje Correctional Centre after over 40 days in detention.

ThePressNG previously reported that the trial judge had remanded the Binance agent after he pleaded not guilty to the money laundering charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Nigerian government, through the EFCC, had accused Binance, Gambaryan, and fleeing Nadeem Anjarwalla of allegedly conspiring amongst themselves to conceal the origin of the financial proceeds of their alleged unlawful activities in Nigeria, including $35,400, 000, thereby committing an offense contrary to Section 21 (a) and punishable under Section 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.

But hearing on the bail application had stalled over the parties’ further affidavit which required a formal response from the legal team.

On Tuesday, Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi (SAN), told Justice Emeka Nwite to grant his client bail, accusing the EFCC of failing to produce any credible evidence to oppose his application.

According to him, the complainant’s allegation that Gambaryan was arranging to escape from custody like his colleague, Nadeem, was false.

He added,

“There is no exhibit or document displaying EFCC’s credible intelligence.

“There is no way any reasonable court can come to a conclusion on evidence such as this.”

But EFCC’s counsel, E. Iheanacho, said the court would be taking a grave risk by granting the Binance executive bail because he has no attachment to any community in Nigeria or competent person to stand as his surety.

He contended that Gambaryan attempted to apply for a new United States passport, knowing full well his International passport was seized by the Nigerian state.

In the alternative, he advised the court to return the applicant to EFCC custody.

After hearing the lawyers, Justice Emeka Nwite fixed May 17 for the ruling.

 

 

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