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Court dismisses Binance official’s rights violation suit against NSA, EFCC

A federal high court in Abuja has dismissed a fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by Nadeem Anjarwalla, an executive of Binance Holdings Ltd, against the office of the national security adviser and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Inyang Ekwo, presiding judge, dismissed the suit on Wednesday over lack of diligent prosecution.

When the case was called, no lawyer appeared for Anjarwalla and neither was the applicant in court.

In his ruling, Ekwo noted that on March 28 when the matter came up, Tonye Krukrubo, who represented Anjarwalla, had sought leave to withdraw his appearance in the matter and the application was granted. The matter was then adjourned to June 19 for mention.

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On February 28, the federal government detained two top Binance executives as part of a probe bordering on illegal operations in the country and foreign exchange rate manipulations.

The detained executives included Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan and Binance’s regional manager for Africa; and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old US citizen and Binance’s head of financial crime compliance.

Nigeria’s government, on March 25, filed a criminal charge against Binance for “tax evasion” — the same period Anjarwalla fled detention.

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Both men then instituted seperate fundamental rights suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/355/24 and FHC/ABJ/CS/356/24 respectively, suing the office of NSA and EFCC as 1st and 2nd respondents.

In their separate applications, they sought a declaration that their detention and seizure of their international travel passport, contravened Section 35 (1) and (4) of 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Anjarwalla’s suit was dismissed while the judge has fixed July 9 to hear that of Gambaryan.

The judge fixed the date after Gambaryan’s lawyer, Krukrubo, moved a motion seeking to amend their originating process.

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Although Olarewanju Adeola, EFCC’s lawyer, opposed the motion, the judge held that parties, by law, were entitled to amend their processes before judgment.

However, Gambaryan was fined N50,000 in favour of the EFCC, having joined issues in the matter.

Ekwo held that the fine must be paid before the next adjourned date.

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