Nigerian court dismisses escaped Binance exec’s human rights suit

Nigerian court dismisses escaped Binance exec’s human rights suit
RegulationPeople & culture
Nadeem Anjarwalla and Tigran Gambaryan both filed human rights abuse charges against Nigeria's government. Credit: Darren Joseph
  • An Abuja court threw out Nadeem Anjarwalla’s petition.
  • Tigran Gambaryan filed a similar suit but the court adjourned the hearing to next month.
  • Gambaryan will still be tried on a money laundering charge.

Before fleeing Nigeria on March 22, Binance executive Nadeem Anjarwalla sued his jailers for human rights abuses.

On Thursday, a court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, dismissed Anjarwalla’s suit against the National Security Adviser and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, according to court proceedings monitored by DL News.

The presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, issued the ruling because Anjarwalla had no legal representation in court.

Red notice

The British lawyer and regional head for Binance was last seen in Kenya and is now the target of an Interpol red notice.

DL News previously reported that Tonye Krukrubo, Anjarwalla’s lawyer, withdrew his representation days after the Binance man eluded his guards and used his Kenyan passport to fly out of the country.

Anjarwalla was detained alongside Tigran Gambaryan, the company’s head of financial crime compliance, on February 26.

The pair had travelled to the country to settle a regulatory dispute with the government.

At the time, Nigeria’s government blamed crypto exchanges, especially Binance, for its currency woes as the naira fell to its lowest level against the dollar.

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Money laundering charges

The two Binance executives were unsuccessful in their attempts to liaise with government officials and they were detained in a guest house.

Gambaryan, Binance’s head of financial crimes compliance has been left alone to bear the brunt of the government’s fight against the crypto exchange.

The EFCC slammed money laundering charges against Binance and Gambaryan and the latter has been incarcerated in Kuje Prison alongside detained terrorists.

Gambaryan’s health has deteriorated during his prolonged incarceration including a bout of malaria and pneumonia which prison officials were slow to treat despite a court order for his transfer to a hospital for adequate care.

The detained Binance executive, however, scored a minor victory earlier this month as Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service agreed to drop Gambaryan from its tax violation charge against the company.

Gambaryan also filed a separate human rights abuse lawsuit against Nigeria’s NSA and EFCC at the same time as Anjarwalla’s.

Justice Inyang adjourned hearing on Gambaryan’s human rights application to July 9 but fined the Binance executive 50,000 naira, about $33, after his lawyer sought to amend the filing.

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