Tigran Gambaryan, the Binance executive detained by the Nigerian government has sued the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged violation of his fundamental rights.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Gambaryan, in the originating motion dated and filed on March 18 by his lawyer, Olujoke Aliyu, from Aluko and Oyebode Law Firm, sought five reliefs before Justice Inyang Ekwo.

Also, Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa regional manager who escaped from lawful custody on March 22, filed a separate right enforcement suit before Justice Ekwo.

SaharaReporters reported on Monday that the Office of the NSA had confirmed the escape of one of the detained executives of Binance, Nadeem Anjarwalla from custody.

This was stated in a press statement signed by Zakari U. Mijinyawa, Head of Strategic Communication, Office of the NSA on Monday.

The statement said the suspect flew out of the country with a smuggled passport.


It was earlier reported that Mr Anjarwalla, 38, escaped when security guards took him to a nearby mosque for prayers because of the ongoing Ramadan fast.

The NSA Office went on to say that after being briefed on what had happened, it took urgent action to apprehend the suspect, working with relevant security agencies, MDAs, and the international community.

It added that security services were working with Interpol to get an international arrest warrant for the suspect.

Meanwhile, Messrs Gambaryan and Anjarwalla, in the suits marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/356/24 and FHC/ABJ/CS/355/24, sued the Office of NSA, ONSA, and EFCC as 1st and 2nd respondents, seeking the same reliefs.

Mr Gambaryan, a US citizen overseeing financial crime compliance at the crypto exchange platform, in his application, sought a declaration that his detention and seizure of his passport contravened Section 35 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).

He said the act amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution.

He also sought an order directing the respondents to release him from their custody and return his passport to him immediately.

Mr Gambaryan equally sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and agents from further detaining him in relation to any investigation into or demands from Binance.

The official, who sought an order for the respondents to issue a public apology to him, also prayed for the cost of the action on a full indemnity basis.

In a statement in support of the suit, he said he is an American citizen who visited Nigeria on February 26, along with the fugitive Anjarwalla, as a representative of Binance, to honour the invitation of the ONSA and EFCC to discuss issues relating to Binance in Nigeria.

Giving an 11-ground argument as to why his application should be granted, he said that he and his colleague, Anjarwalla, dutifully attended the meeting.

He said after the meeting, the two of them were detained by the respondents and had remained in detention since then.

He said he did not commit any offence during the meeting, and neither was he informed in writing of any offence he committed in Nigeria at any other time.

“The only reason for his detention is because the government is requesting information from Binance and making demands on the company,” he said, adding that he was not a member of the Board of Directors of Binance.

When the two suits were called on Thursday, T.J. Krukrubo, SAN, appeared for Messrs Anjarwalla and Gambaryan.

Mr Krukrubo told the court that though the respondents were served two days ago, they were not represented in court.

The senior lawyer, however, drew the attention of the court to their notice of withdrawal of legal representation for Anjarwalla filed on March 26.

Although Mr Krukrubo did not give details of why they were withdrawing their legal representation, this might be connected to the disappearance of the applicant in custody.

Justice Ekwo said having withdrawn their legal representation, “it means that the applicant has no legal representation and requires that the matter be adjourned for the applicant to seek legal representation and for the respondents to be given an opportunity to come to court.”

The judge adjourned the matter till April 8 for further mention.

Also, upon resumed hearing in Gambaryan’s suit, Mr Krukrubo said though the processes had been served on ONSA and EFCC, they were still within time to respond.

He therefore sought an adjourned date, saying the respondents’ time to file their applications would expire next week Thursday.

Justice Ekwo consequently adjourned the matter until April 8 for further mention.

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