✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Heads must roll over escape of Binance executive

The escape of an executive of Binance, Nadeem Anjarwalla, from the custody of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), on March 22, 2024,…

The escape of an executive of Binance, Nadeem Anjarwalla, from the custody of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), on March 22, 2024, was a national embarrassment. Anjarwalla and his colleague, Tigran Gambaryan, were being investigated for money laundering, manipulation of the forex exchange rate, tax avoidance, and for doing business in Nigeria without being registered with the appropriate authorities. However, before the case could be filed in court for their prosecution, Anjarwalla slipped out of the armpit of the topmost security office in Nigeria and successfully boarded a flight out of the country. It beats the imagination how Nigeria’s security agencies who claim to be on the alert over the spate of insecurity in the country could let down their guard for such a disaster to occur. It is beyond explanation.

Though the federal government has told Nigerians that the personnel in charge of physical surveillance of Anjarwalla  had been detained and were being investigated, several questions are begging for answers which should be provided by the highest offices in the security sector in Nigeria. If the Binance executives were being held and investigated over economic sabotage, why were they not in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)? If they had become security risks, why were they not in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS)? Why were they held in a ‘guest house’?  That sort of arrangement may have made it easy for the Kenyan international passport and other travel documents with which he escaped to be delivered to Anjarwalla while he was ‘held in the guest house.’ The drama of the Binance executive’s escape smells of compromise and conspiracy not expected of a country that accused the executives of economic and financial crimes which contributed to the unprecedented devaluation of the naira.

The delay in completing the investigation into the crimes committed by Binance may have given the executive enough time and the excuse to plot his escape. The two Binance executives were arrested in Nigeria on February 26, 2024 and slammed with a fine of $10 billion for the economic sabotage visited on Nigeria by their company. However, a month after their arrest, the necessary documents for their prosecution were yet to be put together. It even gave the second suspect, Gambaryan, the opportunity to drag the NSA and the EFCC to court for alleged abuse of his fundamental human rights. 

The federal government must not be complacent about generating evidence against those being accused of corruption or any wrongdoing. In the case of Binance executives, the delay in their prosecution would give the diplomatic community a reason to accuse Nigeria of rights abuses. The Nigerian security and intelligence sector must up their game in carrying out investigations. Their failure to do so has led to delays in the prosecution of cases of corruption, and even in the bungling of cases that would have been won by the government.

Brain drain: We’ll provide enabling environment for doctors – FG

Undernutrition, HIV topmost drivers of TB in Nigeria – FG

We call on the federal government to treat this security breach with all the seriousness it deserves. A crack team of investigators must be put to task in tracing and tracking all the personnel that failed to be diligent at his post and allowed Anjarwalla to escape. At the point when it came to the notice of the authorities that he did not return from the mosque where he was said to have gone to pray, all the land, air, and sea borders of the country ought to have been alerted and his picture circulated in such a manner that he would not have been able to escape. All those who failed to take the appropriate steps to stop the Binance executive from sneaking out of Nigeria must be brought to book.

As it stands, the federal government must work with Interpol to bring him back to Nigeria to answer questions over the financial crimes for which he was arrested in the first instance. Most importantly, the disgraceful incident must be a lesson to the Nigerian security sector to wake up from slumber. One of the hard nuts they have failed to crack is how terrorists sneak in and out of Nigeria through our porous borders. If the Binance executive escaped through the country’s air border, it can be better imagined how easy it is for terrorists to enter into Nigeria through land and sea borders, carry out their acts and return to their safe enclaves without being challenged. 

This is not how to secure a country. A nation is as good as the seriousness of its security agents. An executive of an international company held in a serious country cannot escape from custody the way Anjarwalla did. It may be easy to explain away or raise theories about what may have gone wrong, but excuses do not solve problems. Those who failed Nigeria in this case must not go unpunished, no matter whose ox is gored.

VERIFIED: It is now possible to live in Nigeria and earn salary in US Dollars with premium domains, you can earn as much as $12,000 (₦18 Million).
Click here to start.