Nigerian officials ignore court order to hospitalise Binance exec for malaria

Nigerian officials ignore court order to hospitalise Binance exec for malaria
People & cultureRegulation
Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan is being forced to endure malaria and a throat infection without hospital treatment. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • Binance exec Tigran Gambaryan collapsed in court last week.
  • The court directed prison officials to hospitalise him for treatment.
  • Prison officials have yet to obey the order.

Last week, a Nigerian judge directed prison officials to transfer detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan for treatment after he collapsed in court.

Yet Nigeria’s Correctional Service ― which runs the country’s prison system ― has disregarded the court order, according to Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran’s wife, and a government official familiar with the matter.

As a result, Gambaryan, who is suffering from malaria and a severe throat infection, has been denied access to a hospital.

‘Devastated and shocked’

Instead, he is being treated in a clinic at Kuje Prison, which DL News has learned is poorly supplied and in dire need of refurbishment.

Yuki Gambaryan fears that her husband’s physical and mental health is deteriorating.

“I am devastated and shocked that, despite the court’s clear directive for his admission to a hospital, the authorities have not allowed him to leave the very prison causing his illness,” Yuki said in a statement sent to DL News on Tuesday.

While delaying compliance or outrightly disobeying court orders is de rigueur among Nigerian officials, Gambaryan’s ordeal seems connected to attempts by prosecutors and prison authorities to block his transfer to Nizamiye Hospital ― the preferred facility prescribed by his lawyers.

Last week, prosecutors urged the court to include language that would allow prison officials some flexibility in the choice of hospital for Gambaryan’s treatment.

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‘He has done nothing wrong and is suffering simply because he accepted an invitation to a meeting in Abuja.’

—  Yuki Gambaryan

“Some people are pushing for him to be transferred to Kuje General Hospital,” a person close to the matter told DL News on the condition of anonymity. “They feel that it is closer and they don’t know if there are escape plans tied to that hospital his people want him to go to.”

“You know they are the ones who will have to guard him while he’s in hospital,” the source said.

While Kuje General is indeed closer to the prison, the care facility has a reputation for mismanagement. Nizamiye Hospital, on the other hand, is an upscale private medical complex.

Gambaryan’s plight continues to elicit anguished pleas from his family.

“Tigran does not deserve such inhumane treatment,” Yuki said. “He has done nothing wrong and is suffering simply because he accepted an invitation to a meeting in Abuja.”

That meeting, in February, was to settle a simmering dispute between Binance and Nigeria’s government after the latter blamed the crypto exchange for its role in the country’s currency woes.

Gambaryan attended the meeting with British lawyer Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa manager based in Kenya.


Both men were detained when the meeting ended deadlocked and their passports were seized. Anjarwalla escaped custody a month later and hasn’t surfaced since. An Interpol red notice has been issued for his arrest.

Nigerian officials escalated the dispute with Binance in April by charging Gambaryan, Anjarwalla, and the crypto exchange with tax violations and money laundering.

Osato Avan-Nomayo is our Nigeria-based DeFi correspondent. He covers DeFi and tech. To share tips or information about stories, please contact him at