Binance exec remains in jail as bail appeal fails again

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has once again postponed the bail application hearing for Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan, who remains in custody at the Kuje correctional center. 

Originally set for April 18, the court has rescheduled the hearing for April 22, according to local news agency Nairametrics.

After being previously adjourned until April 18, the court has further stalled the bail application hearing, to April 22, local news agency Nairametrics reported.

During the court session, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told the court that Gambaryan’s lawyer submitted an additional affidavit to his bail application on April 16.

Senior counsel E. Iheanacho highlighted new points raised by the defense, requiring time for a proper response in the pursuit of justice.

The judge presiding over the case, Justice Emeka Nwite, agreed to postpone the proceedings. However, Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi, emphasized that his client has been held in federal government custody for over 14 days.

He criticized the prosecution for failing to file a response to the additional affidavit submitted with his bail application

Tigran Gambaryan leaving the court as his bail hearing it adjourned at the federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria on April 18.   Source: Nairametrics

The trial judge remanded the Binance executive after he pleaded not guilty to money laundering charges by the EFCC. The agency accused Binance, Gambaryan, and Nadeem Anjarwalla of concealing the source of $35.4 million revenue in Nigeria, alleging it was the proceeds of unlawful activity.

Following the court’s acceptance of the EFCC’s arraignment of the defendants, Mordi requested the court to provide his client bail under lenient conditions.

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The court allowed the EFCC to hold the Binance executives for 14 days and ordered Binance to give the government access to data and details of Nigerian traders using its platform.

Binance and its executives are dealing with two distinct lawsuits: one from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) related to tax evasion and another from the EFCC accusing them of money laundering and foreign exchange violations.

However, Tigran Gambaryan is also suing the government for violating his fundamental human rights. Gambaryan’s motion claims that his detention in Nigeria and the confiscation of his passport violates the country’s constitution, which guarantees an individual’s right to personal liberty.

On Feb. 28, Nigerian officials arrested the two high-ranking Binance executives: Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan overseeing operations in Africa, and Gambaryan, a 39-year-old American, during a visit to Nigeria.

The arrest came after the federal government banned cryptocurrency channels as part of a campaign to curb currency speculation. However, Nadeem Anjarwalla escaped detention using a fake passport.

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