Federal High Court in Abuja Dismisses Fundamental Rights Suit by Fugitive Binance Executive

In a notable legal development, the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the fundamental rights suit filed by Nadeem Anjarwalla, a high-ranking executive at Binance who is currently at large. The suit was filed against the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Anjarwalla, who managed to escape lawful custody on March 22 and is believed to have fled to Kenya, had initiated this legal action along with his colleague, Tigran Gambaryan. The suits, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/355/24 and FHC/ABJ/CS/356/24, contended that their detention and the confiscation of Anjarwalla’s international travel passport constituted violations of their fundamental rights under Section 35 (1) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Section 35 of the Nigerian Constitution guarantees personal liberty and stipulates conditions under which a person may be deprived of such liberty. Anjarwalla and Gambaryan argued that their detentions were unlawful and that the seizure of the passport was an infringement on Anjarwalla’s freedom of movement.

Despite these assertions, the Federal High Court found the claims unsubstantiated and decided to strike out the suit. The decision underscores the court’s stance on the necessity of lawful detention and due process, particularly in cases involving high-profile financial crime investigations.

Anjarwalla’s escape and subsequent disappearance have added a layer of complexity to the case. Reports indicate that he fled to Kenya following his escape from custody, thereby evading Nigerian law enforcement efforts. This escape has further complicated the legal proceedings and has likely influenced the court’s decision to dismiss the suit.

The case has drawn significant attention due to Anjarwalla’s position within Binance, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges, and the serious nature of the allegations against him. The outcome of this legal battle will likely have implications for similar cases in the future, particularly concerning the treatment of executives in the burgeoning field of cryptocurrency and financial technology.

This ruling represents a significant step in the ongoing efforts of Nigerian authorities to address financial crimes and enforce legal accountability, particularly in the fast-evolving digital finance sector. The dismissal of Anjarwalla’s suit sends a clear message about the judiciary’s commitment to upholding the law, even in the face of challenges posed by high-profile and international dimensions of such cases.

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