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Arraignment of Binance chiefs shifted to April as FG fails to perfect service

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Arraignment of Binance chiefs shifted to April as FG fails to perfect service

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Thursday, fixed April 19 for the arraignment of Binance and two of its executives, Tigran Gambaryan, Nadeem Anjarwalla.

Gambaryan appeared in court on Thursday, while Nadeem who escaped from custody, is still at large.

Gambaryan, Binance’s head of financial crime compliance; and Nadeem Binance’s regional manager for Africa; were detained by the Nigerian authorities on February 28.

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Although Nadeem escaped from the custody of the office of the national security adviser (ONSA), both executives, alongside Binance, are expected to be charged by the federal government for tax evasion and money laundering

On March 25, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) filed a criminal charge against Binance for “tax evasion”.

According to the service, the move aims to uphold fiscal responsibility and safeguard the economic integrity of the country.

The lawsuit, designated as suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, is said to “implicate Binance with a four-count tax evasion accusation”.

When the case was called, Moses Ideho, prosecution counsel, said they were unable to effect service on Gambaryan because they could not access him.

“My lord, the prosecution has not been able to serve a copy of the charge on the second defendant (Gambaryan),” Ideho said.

“As a result, we mobilised the court bailiff to serve the second defendant but he was denied access, too.”

Ideho, afterwards, prayed the court to allow him to effect service on the defendant in court.

After serving the court processes on the defendant, the prosecution prayed the court to either issue a stand down or adjourn the case to a later date to enable the defendant confer with his lawyers.

Since there was no opposition from the defence counsel, Emeka Nwite, presiding judge, adjourned the matter to April 19 for arraignment of the defendants.

There was no legal representation for Binance and Anjarwalla.

 

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