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Binance executive who escaped from custody, colleague sue Nigerian Govt

Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa regional manager, who escaped from lawful custody March 22 has filed a right enforcement suit against the Nigerian government.

His colleague, Tigran Gambaryan, detained along with him has also sued the National Security Adviser (NSA) Nuhu Ribadu, and the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged violation of his fundamental rights.

Gambaryan, in the originating motion dated and filed March 18 by his lawyer, Olujoke Aliyu, from Aluko and Oyebode Law Firm, sought five reliefs before Justice Inyang Ekwo

Anjarwalla filed his right enforcement suit also before Justice Ekwo.

Anjarwalla and Gambaryan, in the suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/355/24 and FHC/ABJ/CS/356/24 sued the Office of NSA (ONSA) and EFCC as 1st and 2nd respondents.

Gambaryan, a US citizen overseeing financial crime compliance at the crypto exchange platform, in his application, sought a declaration that his detention and seizure of his international travel passport, contravened Section 35 (1) and (4) of 1999 Constitution (As Amended).

He said the act amounted to a violation of his fundamental right to personal liberty as guaranteed by the constitution

He also sought an order directing the respondents to release him from their custody and! return his international travel passport with immediate effect.

Gambaryan equally sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents and agents from further detaining him in relation to any investigation into or demands from Binance.

The official, who sought an order for the respondents to issue a public apology to him, also prayed for the cost of the action on a full indemnity basis.

In a statement in support of the suit, he said he is an American citizen who visited Nigeria on Feb. 26 February, along with fleeing Anjarwalla, as a representative of Binance, to honour the invitation of the ONSA and EFCC to discuss issues relating to Binance in Nigeria

Giving 11-ground argument why his application should be granted, he said that he and his colleague, Anjarwalla, dutifully attended the meeting.

He said after the meeting the two of them were detained by the respondents and had remained in detention since then.

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He said he did not commit any offence during the meeting, and neither was he informed in writing of any offence he personally committed in Nigeria at any other time.

“The only reason for his detention is because the government is requesting information from Binance and making demands on the company,” he said, adding that he was not a member of the Board of Directors of Binance.

When the two suits were called on Thursday, T.J. Krukrubo, SAN, appeared for Anjarwalla and Gambaryan

Krukrubo, told the court that though the respondents were served two days ago, they were not represented in court.

The senior lawyer, however, drew the attention of the court to their notice of withdrawal of legal representation for Anjarwalla filed on March 26.

Although Krukrubo did not give details of why they were withdrawing their legal representation, this might not be unconnected to the disappearance of the applicant in custody.

Justice Ekwo said having withdrew their legal representation, “it means that the applicant has no legal representation and requires that the matter be adjourned for the applicant to seek legal representation and for the respondents to be given an opportunity to come to court.”

The judge adjourned the matter until April 8 for further mention.

Also, upon resumed hearing in Gambaryan’s suit, Krukrubo said though the processes had been served on ONSA and EFCC, they were still within time to respond.

He therefore sought an adjourned date, saying the respondents time to file their applications would expire next week Thursday.

Justice Ekwo consequently adjourned the matter until April 8 for further mention.

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NAFDAC seals popular Supermarket in Ibadan

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has sealed a popular groceries and cosmetics supermarket, Pinnacle in Dugbe area of Ibadan over sale of fake products.

The supermarket, usually a beehive of activities was now a shadow of itself as the gate leading to the premises was shut with an inscription directing customers to its branch at Challenge.

Management of the supermarket cited technical issues as reason for its closure.

An inside source who pleaded for anonymity however revealed that problem started on Tuesday, 2nd April , 2024 when NAFDAC surveillance team stormed the mall to enforce total shutdown of the premises, thereby forcing shoppers out of the supermarket.

“The NAFDAC team came inside the mall and told us to close, even though people were many inside who wanted to do shopping but they couldn’t because the technical issue started and they all went away in disappointment”, the source said.

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Nigeria oil production drops to 1.231m barrels per day- OPEC

OPEC: Russia-Ukraine war causing volatility in global energy market

Nigeria’s crude oil production suffered its second consecutive monthly decline since the beginning of this year, as it dropped to 1.231 million barrels per day in March, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has revealed.

OPEC disclosed this in its latest Monthly Oil Market Report for April 2024, stating that crude oil production details which it got through direct communication from Nigeria showed that the country pumped less oil in March compared to February.

Data from the report indicated that Nigeria produced 1.322 million barrels per day of crude in February this year, but this dropped to 1.231mbpd in March, representing a plunge of 91mbpd.

The report further added that the country had produced 1.427mbpd of crude in January, but this was not sustained in February as it dropped in that month, while the southward oil production continued in March.

However, OPEC data showed that Nigeria’s average crude oil production in the first quarter of 2024 was 1.327mbpd, higher than the 1.313mbpd average oil production in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Nigeria’s first quarter oil output in 2024 was also higher than the 1.201mbpd average production in the third quarter of 2023.

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Emirates Airlines to resume Nigeria flights soon – Keyamo

Emirates, UAE, has concluded plans to resume flights with Nigeria.

This followed numerous visits from President Bola Tinubu to UAE over the communication breakdown between both countries.

Featuring on Arise Television on Monday, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, said the Emirates Airline had already indicated its readiness in a letter sent to the Nigerian Government.

Keyamo explained that what transpired during the earlier visit and resolution was not fake but was presented in a ‘hasty’ manner.

He said: “Emirates flight resumption is almost happening. I just received a letter from Emirates. The letter is on my phone now. They have gone through all the gamut and they are ready to come back. They will announce the date because to restart a route, they must get an aircraft for that route.

“I am announcing to Nigerians for the first time; that I just received a letter from Emirates now. The letter is with me. I have a hard copy thanking you for all the efforts we made. Mr President was the showman here. He was the one who pushed for it. He made my job easy because he went there, and had a diplomatic shuttle to resolve all the issues.

“That was why I said the last announcement was hasty and not fake news.

“They will announce the date for their next flight. We have received a letter confirming that all the issues have been resolved and prepared to start coming back. It may be before June.”

Apart from Emirates suspending flights to Nigeria, in 2022, the UAE Immigration Department notified its trade partners and travel agencies that it was stopping visa applications from 22 countries, 20 of which are African nations.

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