Delays Continue in Nigeria’s Legal Effort Against Binance Executives

The trial of Binance and two of its executives, Tigran Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, on a $35.4 million money laundering charge in Nigeria’s Federal High Court Abuja faced further delays due to procedural errors. Scheduled to commence on May 2, the trial was adjourned by Federal High Court Judge Justice Emeka Nwite to May 17, citing issues with document service.

Binance’s lawyer, Tonye Krukrubo, revealed to the court that he had not received the necessary documents to prepare for the case, contradicting claims made by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s anti-graft agency. Krukrubo was served with the documents, reportedly 300 pages long, in court after difficulties in serving Binance through Gambaryan, who is held in Kuje prison.

Justice Nwite expressed dissatisfaction with the prosecution’s repeated procedural lapses, cautioning against further delays. May 17 is now a pivotal date for several aspects of the case, including the commencement of the money laundering trial, reconsideration of tax evasion charges against Gambaryan by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and a ruling on Gambaryan’s bail application.

Gambaryan and Anjarwalla were detained in February 2024 following allegations of manipulating the Nigerian currency through Binance’s peer-to-peer platform. Anjarwalla fled detention in March 2024, while Gambaryan remains in custody, spending nearly 60 days in prison.

On April 30, U.S. Representative Rich McCormick addressed Gambaryan’s detention with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, seeking his release. Nigeria is collaborating with Interpol to extradite Anjarwalla from Kenya.