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Detained Binance executive's bail hearing adjourned to May 17 by Abuja court

The EFCC and Gambaryan’s lawyer adopted their processes and argued their case against and for the bail plea.

Detained Binance executive's bail hearing adjourned to May 17 by Abuja court

Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the date after counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Gambaryan’s lawyer, Mark Mordi, SAN, adopted their processes and argued their case against and for the bail plea.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge had ordered the remand of Gambaryan in Kuje Correctional Centre after he pleaded not guilty to the money laundering charges preferred against him by the EFCC.

The EFCC had accused Binance Holdings Limited, Gambaryan and Nadeem Anjarwalla, another agent of the company, of allegedly conspiring amongst themselves to conceal the origin of the financial proceeds of their alleged unlawful activities in Nigeria including $35,400, 000.

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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.

At the resumed hearing, Mordi told Justice Nwite to grant his client’s bail, arguing that the EFCC had failed to produce any credible evidence to oppose his application. According to him, the complainant’s allegation that Gambaryan was arranging to escape from custody like his colleague was false.

“No exhibit or document is displaying EFCC’s credible intelligence."

Iheanacho said the court would take a grave risk by granting the Binance agent bail because he had no attachment to any community in Nigeria or competent person to stand as his surety. He contended that Gambaryan attempted to apply for a new United States passport while in detention knowing fully well his International passport was seized by the Nigerian state.

The lawyer said he was a flight risk and that if granted bail, he would jump bail like his colleague. He disagreed with Mordi that the commission had not provided credible evidence that Gambaryan was planning to escape.

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He said going by the deposition in their counter affidavit, the deponent was one of the investigative teams that investigated the case. He urged the court to dismiss the bail application.

In the alternative, he advised the court to return the applicant to EFCC custody if the judge decides to grant him bail. Justice Nwite then fixed May 17 for the ruling.

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