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EFCC Urges Court to Deny Bail for Binance Employee Amid Alleged Escape Plot

In a recent development concerning the case of Tigran Gambaryan, a Binance employee facing legal proceedings in Nigeria, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has made a compelling argument to the Federal High Court not to grant him bail. The EFCC has raised concerns about Gambaryan’s alleged attempts to procure a new passport to facilitate his escape from Nigeria, despite his original passport being seized by the agency.

 

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During proceedings on April 23, 2024, the EFCC, represented by its lawyer Emeka Iheanacho, informed the court about Gambaryan’s purported efforts to obtain a new travel document while being aware that his passport was in the custody of the state. Iheanacho revealed that Gambaryan allegedly feigned ignorance about the whereabouts of his passport, claiming it was stolen. Additionally, it was disclosed that Gambaryan had reportedly attempted to flee the country previously but was intercepted by EFCC operatives.

Expressing apprehension, Iheanacho argued against granting Gambaryan bail, citing the risk of a repeat of a similar incident where another individual escaped to Kenya despite having his passport held by Nigerian authorities. Iheanacho emphasized Gambaryan’s lack of ties to the local community and cautioned against releasing him, fearing potential flight.

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However, Gambaryan’s defense counsel, Mark Modi, vehemently opposed the prosecution’s stance, labeling his client’s continued detention as “purely a state-sanctioned hostage-taking.” Modi argued that Gambaryan’s detention was merely a tactic by the EFCC to extract information from his employer, Binance. He refuted the allegations of flight risk, dismissing them as unfounded and unsupported hearsay.

Modi stressed the lack of credible evidence presented by the prosecution to justify Gambaryan’s continued detention and urged the court to grant bail with specified conditions to ensure his client’s presence at trial.

The case highlights the clash between the EFCC’s concerns regarding potential flight risk and the defense’s assertion of Gambaryan’s innocence and the need for fair treatment. As the legal proceedings unfold, the court’s decision on Gambaryan’s bail plea will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of the case, shedding light on the complexities surrounding allegations of economic crimes and the administration of justice in Nigeria.

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TAGiAfrica™ is a Web3 Magazine that is documenting the African journey in the crypto and blockchain industry for over a decade. We are the Pan-African magazine that covers business, technology, Blockchain, Crypto and Innovation.We are the essential resource for anyone who wants to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in Africa. The magazine is also a valuable resource for businesses that are looking to expand into Africa and committed to promoting African entrepreneurship and innovation.

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