Binance Executive Files Lawsuit Against Nigerian Authorities Over Detention

According reports, Tigran Gambaryan, the head of financial crime compliance at Binance, has taken legal action against Nigerian officials, including the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleging a breach of his fundamental rights.

Gambaryan, along with Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s regional manager for Africa, were reportedly detained by Nigerian authorities on February 28. This detention occurred after they responded to an invitation from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the EFCC to discuss matters related to Binance’s operations in Nigeria.

During the detention, both Gambaryan and Anjarwalla had their passports seized by the ONSA. However, on March 25, Anjarwalla managed to escape custody and fled Nigeria using a smuggled passport. Prior to his escape, Anjarwalla fell ill while in detention on March 12.

In response to these events, Gambaryan, represented by his lawyer Olujoke Aliyu from Aluko and Oyebode Law Firm, filed a lawsuit seeking redress. The lawsuit, filed before Justice Inyang Ekwo, includes several demands.

Gambaryan, who is a US citizen, sought a declaration that his detention and the seizure of his passport violated Section 35 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended), asserting that it infringed upon his fundamental right to personal liberty.

Additionally, he requested an order for his immediate release from custody and the return of his passport. Gambaryan also sought an injunction to prevent further detention related to any investigations or demands concerning Binance. Moreover, he demanded a public apology from the respondents and requested full indemnity for the costs incurred.

In his statement supporting the lawsuit, Gambaryan emphasized that he and Anjarwalla attended the meeting with Nigerian authorities in good faith and were subsequently detained without just cause. He stressed that neither he nor his colleague had committed any offenses during the meeting or at any other time in Nigeria.

The lawsuit highlights the importance of upholding individuals’ rights, especially in the context of international business operations, and sets a precedent for legal recourse in similar situations.

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