Binance Executives Sue Nigerian Authorities Over Rights Violations

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Two senior managers of the Binance cryptocurrency platform have filed a lawsuit against Nigerian authorities, alleging violations of their rights.

Two top executives from Binance, the world's leading cryptocurrency exchange, have filed a lawsuit against Nigeria's national security adviser's office and the anti-graft agency, alleging the infringement of their basic rights and urging the court to release them.

Tigran Gambaryan, an American citizen serving as Binance's head of financial crime compliance, and Nadeem Anjarwalla, a British-Kenyan managing Binance's operations in Africa, traveled to Nigeria after the country banned several cryptocurrency trading platforms. Upon arrival on February 26, they were detained. Anjarwalla has since fled the country, facing the possibility of an international arrest warrant.

Gambaryan appeared in a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday, seeking Judge Iyang Ekwo's declaration that his detention and confiscation of his passport by the National Security Adviser and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) constitute a violation of his constitutional right to personal liberty in Nigeria.

The executives, who claimed they were not informed of any offenses committed, sought an order for their release and the return of their passports, along with a public apology and a restraining order to prevent further detention.

The judge adjourned the hearing to April 8 without making a ruling because lawyers for the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the EFCC were absent from court.

Gambaryan and Anjarwalla became entangled in a crackdown following a period in which numerous cryptocurrency websites became favored platforms for trading the Nigerian currency, amid the country's struggle with a chronic dollar shortage.