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NSA, EFCC must apologize for detaining me, Binance Executive tells Nigerian court

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A Binance Executive,  Tigran Gambaryan has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to compel the Office of the National Security Adviser(NSA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) to apologize to him over his detention in the country.

Gambaryan disclosed this in his Fundamental Rights suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/356/2024, while alleging that the federal government is using his continued detention “as leverage to continue making demands on Binance.

In his grounds of application, the applicant’s lawyer T.J. Krukrubo SAN explained to the court that his client is an American citizen who visited Nigeria on 26 February 2024, along with Nadeem Anjarwalla, solely for the purpose of honouring invitation by Mr. Saad Abubakar of the NSA and Mr. Olalekan Ogunjobi of the EFCC for a meeting with government officials as representatives of Binance.

He added that after honoring the invitation, his client, who is not a board member of Binance, was detained afterwards and has not been released.

The suit seen by ThePressNG reads,

 

The applicant sought the following orders,

At the resumption of proceedings, Krukrubo told Justice Inyang Ekwo that his application has been served to the respondents and they were still within time to respond.

He asked the judge to adjourn so that the NSA and EFCC can respond to his application.

The judge agreed with him and shifted the case to April 8.

Recently, the federal government had accused the cryptocurrency exchange with influencing foreign exchange (FX) rates, leading to stricter oversight of crypto trading platforms.

On February 28, Nigerian authorities detained two senior Binance executives: Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan who serves as the regional manager for Africa, and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old American who is the head of financial crime compliance at Binance.

Following the federal government’s ban on cryptocurrency channels as part of a campaign against currency speculation, the Binance executives visited Nigeria for a meeting.

The Naira has experienced a significant devaluation of its currency, with the naira losing 70% of its value against the dollar since the foreign exchange reforms were implemented last year, a situation worsened by a shortage of dollars locally.

The NSA later confirmed that Nadeem had fled the country.

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