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Tigran Gambaryan: Binance executives drag NSA Ribadu, EFCC to court

Detained Binance executive, Tigran Gambaryan, has initiated legal action against NSA Nuhu Ribadu and the EFCC over alleged violations of his fundamental rights.

In the originating motion filed on March 18 by his lawyer, Olujoke Aliyu from Aluko and Oyebode Law Firm, Gambaryan sought several reliefs before Justice Inyang Ekwo.

Nadeem Anjarwalla, the Binance Africa regional manager who escaped from lawful custody on March 22, also filed a separate right enforcement suit before Justice Ekwo.

Both executives sued the Office of NSA and EFCC as the 1st and 2nd respondents, seeking the same reliefs.

Gambaryan, a US citizen overseeing financial crime compliance at Binance, sought a declaration that his detention and seizure of his international travel passport violated Section 35 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).

He argued that this act amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution. Additionally, he requested an order directing the respondents to release him from custody and return his international travel passport immediately.

Gambaryan also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and their agents from further detaining him in relation to any investigation into or demands from Binance.

Moreover, he asked for the respondents to issue a public apology to him and prayed for the cost of the action on a full indemnity basis.

In a statement supporting the suit, Gambaryan explained that he visited Nigeria on February 26 as a representative of Binance to attend a meeting with the ONSA and EFCC regarding Binance’s operations in Nigeria.

He stated that after the meeting, he and Anjarwalla were detained by the respondents and have remained in custody since then. Gambaryan asserted that he had not committed any offense during the meeting and was not informed of any offense he personally committed in Nigeria.

The suits were called on Thursday, with T.J. Krukrubo, SAN, appearing for Anjarwalla and Gambaryan. Krukrubo informed the court that the respondents were served two days prior but were not represented in court.

Krukrubo also mentioned their notice of withdrawal of legal representation for Anjarwalla, filed on March 26, without providing further details.

Justice Ekwo noted the withdrawal of legal representation and adjourned the matter until April 8 for the applicants to seek new legal representation and for the respondents to appear in court.

Upon the resumed hearing in Gambaryan’s suit, Krukrubo mentioned that the processes were served on ONSA and EFCC, and they were still within time to respond.

He requested an adjourned date, stating that the respondent’s time to file their applications would expire the following week Thursday.

Justice Ekwo then adjourned the matter until April 8 for further mention.