Nigerian Court Throws Out Lawsuit by Fleeing Binance Executive

A Nigerian court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Nadeem Anjarwalla, a former regional manager for cryptocurrency giant Binance, who accused Nigerian authorities of violating his human rights. The judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, ruled against Anjarwalla due to his absence of legal representation in court.

Anjarwalla and his colleague, Tigran Gambaryan, head of financial crime compliance at Binance, were detained in Nigeria in February 2024. The detentions came amid a regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges by the Nigerian government, with the central bank governor specifically criticizing Binance for alleged currency manipulation and illicit transactions. Both Anjarwalla and Gambaryan were released shortly after their detention, but no charges were initially filed against them.

Following their release, Anjarwalla filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian National Security Adviser and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), claiming that his fundamental rights had been violated during his detention. However, the situation took an unexpected turn in March 2024 when Anjarwalla reportedly escaped from Nigeria. With Anjarwalla no longer in the country and his lawyer withdrawing representation, the court found it impossible to proceed with the case.

Gambaryan, who remained in Nigeria, is still pursuing his own human rights lawsuit against the same agencies. His case is scheduled for a hearing in July 2024. The dismissal of Anjarwalla's lawsuit does not affect Gambaryan's case, and the court has indicated it will proceed as planned.

The situation between Binance and the Nigerian government remains unresolved. Binance has not publicly commented on the recent developments, and it is unclear whether they intend to resume operations in Nigeria. The central bank, on the other hand, has maintained its cautious stance on cryptocurrencies, urging Nigerians to exercise caution when dealing with digital assets.

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