Tinubu’s government seeks fresh court order to keep Binance officials in detention

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government has approached an Abuja magistrates’ court for an order to extend the detention of two Binance officials, Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen, and British-Kenyan Nadeem Anjarwalla.

The two Binance officials have been in detention since two weeks after the Federal Government arrested them.

After the expiration of the first court order to detain the duo on Tuesday, “Economic Financial Crimes Commission has asked a chief magistrates’ court in Abuja to extend their (Mr Gambaryan and Mr Anjarwalla) detention while investigations continue,” Reuters reported on Thursday citing sources familiar with the case.

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Spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, declined comment when asked about the anti-graft agency’s move for fresh court order to extend Messrs Gambaryan and Anjarwalla’s detention.

“I don’t have any comment about that,” Mr Oyewale told Peoples Gazette.

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The cryptocurrency platform noted that “it is inappropriate for them to comment on the substance of the claims at this time, but they are “working collaboratively with Nigerian authorities” to secure the release of their officials in detention.

Recall that the government demanded that the cryptocurrency platform furnish it with a list of top Nigerian Binance users and their transaction details to release their officials held hostage.

Clampdown on Binance and other platforms comes as part of efforts by the Tinubu-led government to strengthen the naira against the dollar.

Based on claims that the cryptocurrency platform is aiding currency speculators to manipulate Nigerian exchange rate, Mr Tinubu government blocked Binance website to Nigerian users.

Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had said over $26 billion passed through Binance in the past year, while Bayo Onanuga, a media aide to the President, justified the clampdown on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms in Nigeria, accusing them of fixing rates and sabotaging the Nigerian economy.

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With its two officials in detention, Binance exited the Nigerian market and discontinued every naira-related transaction on its platform.

The detention of Messrs Gambaryan and Anjarwalla has caused worries to their families.

Mr Gambaryan’s wife, Yuki, described the last two weeks as the “hardest days of her life.” She said her two children (a four-year-old and a 10-year-old) have become relentless in asking when daddy would return, a question to which she had no answer.

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