You stopped service of charges on Binance chief, FIRS accuses EFCC



The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which is prosecuting the case of two Binance executives held by Nigerian government over ‘tax evation’ has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of stopping service of charges on the accused.

Recall that the scheduled arraignment of Binance Holdings Limited and two of its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, who escaped from custody, was stalled on Thursday over a complaint that one of the executives had not been served with the charge sheet.

Counsel for the FIRS, Moses Ideh, told the court that the EFCC denied the court bailiff access to the detained Binance executive.

Ideh said the bailiff was unable to serve the charge sheet on Gambaryan, who was in the custody of the EFCC.

“My Lord, we have not been able to serve a copy of the charge on the second defendant. We mobilised the court bailiff to serve the second defendant but he was denied access, too,” he said.

He, therefore, made an oral application to serve the charge sheet on Gambaryan in the courtroom, through his lawyer, Chukwuka Ikwuazo (SAN).

As Ikwuazo raised no objection to the application, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja granted it.

The FIRS lawyer then urged the judge to stand the case down or adjourn to give Ikwuazo time to study the charges and prepare his client’s defence.

The judge, in his ruling, settled for an adjournment instead of a stand-down.

“In the light that he has just been served, he should be allowed time to study the charges. The matter is hereby adjourned till April 19 for arraignment,” the judge held.

In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, the FIRS alleged that Binance Holdings Limited failed to register with its agency, thereby evading taxes.

The FIRS also alleged that while the firm was offering taxable services to subscribers on its trading platform, it failed to issue invoices to its subscribers for the purposes of determining and payment of its value-added taxes.

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