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Court orders NCoS to take ailing Binance executive, Gambaryan to hospital

Iheanacho told the court that he was unaware of the application as he was yet to be served with the documents.

Tigran Gambaryan [Tribune Online]

Justice Emeka Nwite gave the order following an application by Gambaryan’s counsel, Mark Mordi, SAN, that his client was suffering from a deteriorating health condition which needed prompt medical attention.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had sued Binance Holdings Limited and Gambaryan as 1st and 2nd defendants.

In the five-count money laundering charge, Nadeem Anjarwalla, another agent of the company, was listed as being at large.

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They were accused of allegedly conspiring amongst themselves to conceal the origin of the financial proceeds of their alleged unlawful activities in Nigeria including 35,400, 000 dollars.

They were alleged to have committed an offence contrary to Section 21 (a) and punishable under Section 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, among others.

However, Anjarwalla escaped from lawful custody on March 22 and fled Nigeria for Kenya.

Mordi, while moving the motion, had sought an order of the court directing the correctional centre to allow Gambaryan to be treated in Nizayime Hospital, Abuja.

The EFCC’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho, did not oppose the application that the defendant be treated in a hospital, he however disagreed that Gambaryan be specifically treated in Nizayime Hospital suggested by Mordi.

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Responding, Mordi, who said they were interested in a medical facility where his client could be properly taken care of, said the company would be the cost.

According to him, the 2nd defendant is worth more to them if he is alive.

He said only a person who is living can stand trial.

The senior lawyer equally applied for the medical report of a medical examination conducted on his client by the prison authority.

Iheanacho insisted that the court should be mindful of making a specific order directing the correctional centre to allow him to be treated in Nizayime Hospital.

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He argued that the centre should take him to any hospital that would attend to him adequately so long the authority could ensure his security.

He also applied for the medical report to be issued and delivered to the anti-graft agency.

Mordi then rephrased his request and urged the court to make an order allowing Gambaryan to be treated in Nizayime Hospital or any other hospital that the correctional centre deemed.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Nwite granted the request.

An order of this honourable court is hereby made that the 2nd defendant be allowed to be treated in Nizayime Hospital or any other hospital within the jurisdiction which the Correctional Service Centre deems fit provided the Correctional Service Authority shall provide adequate security for the 2nd defendant within the period the 2nd defendant stays in the hospital,” he said.

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The judge also ordered the correctional service authority to issue and deliver to both the prosecution and defendant’s counsel Gambaryan’s medical report based on the medical examination conducted on him a fortnight ago.

NAN earlier reported that a mild drama ensued in the court when Gambaryan slumped in the open court over alleged ill-health.

The development occurred shortly after the matter was called for trial continuation.

Mordi told the court that although the matter was slated for cross-examination of the 1st prosecution witness (PW1), he sought an adjournment, citing Gambaryan’s ill health.

He said they managed to bring the defendant to court for the court to know his true health condition.

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Counsel to Binance Holdings Limited, Fagbohunlu, informed the court that a subpoena had been issued to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to release some documents to them in preparing for their defence.

He prayed to the court for an order directing the government agencies to release the documents to them before the next adjourned date.

Iheanacho told the court that he was unaware of the application as he was yet to be served with the documents.

In the ruling, the judge directed the EFCC to make sure that the subpoena served on CBN and SEC were complied with.

Justice Nwite subsequently adjourned the matter until June 20 and June 21 for cross-examination of the PW1.

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