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Nigerian Court Orders Binance to Disclose User Data Amid Criminality Allegations

Nigerian court orders Binance to disclose user data to EFCC amid allegations of criminality, leading to discussions on the impact of crypto platforms on the naira and the country's economy.

A Nigerian High Court has instructed Binance Holdings to provide the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with comprehensive data on all Nigerian users trading on its platform.

The directive, delivered in an interim ruling by Justice Emeka Nwite on Feb. 29, follows an ex parte motion filed against Binance by the EFCC. The motion argued that Binance's activities in Nigeria contain elements of criminality, violating Sections 38 of the EFCC Act, 2004, and Section 15 of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 (as amended).

EFCC operative Hamma Bello stated in an affidavit the need to conclude an ongoing probe after receiving intelligence on alleged money laundering and terrorism financing involving Binance. The EFCC team found users using the platform for illegal activities, including price manipulation, leading to distortions in the foreign exchange market and devaluation of the naira.

In response, Nathaniel Luz, CEO of Flincap, suggested a roundtable discussion between Binance and the Nigerian government. Presidential adviser Bayo Onanuga accused platforms like Binance of manipulating the naira and proposed banning them in Nigeria.

Nigeria has become one of the fastest-growing crypto economies globally and the second-largest in crypto adoption in 2023.