Court Dismisses Fleeing Binance Executive Anjarwalla’s Suit Against FG

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by the Africa Regional Manager of Binance Holdings Limited, Nadeem Anjarwalla, against the Federal Government.

In a short ruling on Wednesday, the judge dismissed the suit against the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for lack of diligent prosecution.

Justice Ekwo stated that on 28th of March, which was the date of the previous sitting in the matter, Anjarwalla’s counsel, Tonye Krukrubo, (SAN), had sought leave to withdraw his appearance in the matter, and the application was granted.

He said the matter was adjourned till Wednesday for mention but no lawyer appeared for the applicant (Anjarwalla).

Anjarwalla and his colleague, Tigran Gambaryan, had filed separate human rights enforcement suits, against the NSA and EFCC, seeking an order to release them from detention.

The two Crypto-exchange executives, in the suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/355/24 and FHC/ABJ/CS/356/24, sued the ONSA and EFCC as 1st and 2nd respondents.

Kukrubo, whose appearance on Wednesday was solely for Gambaryan, moved a motion seeking to amend his client-originating process.

EFCC’s lawyer, Olarewanju Adeola, however, opposed the motion.

Justice Ekwo granted Krukrubo’s request to amend his application.

He held that parties, by law, are entitled to amend their processes before judgment.

“I am minded to grant this amendment,” he said.

The court, however, fined Gambaryan, the sum of N50,000, to be paid to the EFCC, for joining issues in the matter.

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

He fixed 9th of July, for the hearing of Gambaryan’s suit, following the hearing of the preliminary objection and the substantive matter.

The duo, in their fundamental rights enforcement suits in separate applications, sought a declaration that their detention and the seizure of their international travel passport contravened Section 35 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).

They claimed the act amounted to a violation of their fundamental right to personal liberty as guaranteed by the constitution, among others.

Anjarwalla and Gambaryan, are both US citizens working for Binance, a crypto exchange platform.

The duo and their company are facing charges bordering on money laundering with the EFCC and tax evasion with the Federal Inland Revenue.

When they were first arrested, they were kept in the custody of the NSA, however, Anjarwalla, absconded from lawful custody on 22nd of March, 2024, to Kenya.


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