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Binance Executive's Bail Appeal Fails Again Amid Ongoing Legal Battle in Nigeria

Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan remains in custody as Nigerian court postpones his bail hearing again amidst ongoing legal battles over money laundering charges.

Tigran Gambaryan's Detention Continues as Court Postpones Hearing

Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan remains in custody at the Kuje correctional center in Nigeria as his bail appeal has once again been postponed. A Federal High Court in Abuja, which was originally set to hear the bail application on April 18, has rescheduled it for April 22. This development was reported by the local news agency Nairametrics.

Details of the Court Proceedings

During the court session, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) presented a need for more time to respond to new points raised in an additional affidavit submitted by Gambaryan's lawyer on April 16. Senior counsel E. Iheanacho emphasized the importance of a thorough response to ensure justice. Subsequently, Justice Emeka Nwite agreed to the postponement.

Gambaryan's lawyer, Mark Mordi, expressed frustration over the prosecution's failure to respond to the new affidavit in a timely manner. He highlighted that his client has already been held in federal custody for over 14 days, criticizing the delay in judicial proceedings.

The trial judge initially remanded Gambaryan after he pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering filed by the EFCC. The agency accuses Gambaryan, alongside Binance and Nadeem Anjarwalla, of concealing the source of $35.4 million in revenue generated in Nigeria, alleging it was the proceeds of unlawful activity. In response, Mordi requested bail under lenient conditions for his client.

Binance and its executives are currently facing two separate lawsuits in Nigeria: one from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) related to tax evasion and another from the EFCC concerning allegations of money laundering and foreign exchange violations.

Tigran Gambaryan leaving the court as his bail hearing it adjourned at the federal high court in Abuja, Nigeria on April 18. Source: Nairametrics

Human Rights Lawsuit and Contextual Challenges

In addition to the criminal charges, Gambaryan has filed a lawsuit against the Nigerian government for violating his fundamental human rights. His motion claims that his detention and the confiscation of his passport breach Nigeria's constitution, which protects individual liberty.

The backdrop to these legal challenges includes the Nigerian government's ban on cryptocurrency channels as part of efforts to curb currency speculation. This policy context adds complexity to the case, especially following the dramatic escape of Nadeem Anjarwalla, another high-ranking Binance executive, using a fake passport.