Binance Executives Have Been Arrested by the FG, Lawyer Tells Reps C’ttee

The two Executives of cryptocurrency firm, Binance that arrived Nigeria to honour the invitation of the National Assembly on the allegations of fraud and terrorism financing have been arrested by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

The arrest of the duo whose names are not yet made public was revealed by their Nigerian lawyer, Senator Iheyen at the National Assembly Abuja on Monday. Mr. Iheyen who appeared at the hearing of the House Committee on Financial Crimes which is investigating the allegations against the cryptocurrency platform told the committee that his clients were unable able to appear in person in the committee because they were already in  the custody of the government.

“Following the arrest of two executives, other persons could not come into Nigeria because they were afraid of arrest too. Binance has responded appropriately to the demands of the committee and as our client, we are pleading that this honorable committee consider taking the report,” the lawyer told the committee.

Binance has been accused of sundry financial breaches including the undue exploitation of the Naira which according to analysts contributed to the free fall of the Nigerian currency. Other crimes Binance has been accused of include, terrorism financing, money laundering and tax invasion, among others.

However, in his response to the alleged arrest of the Binance executives, the Chairman House Committee on Financial Crimes, Hon. Ginger Obinna Onwusibe Ginger (Labour Party, Abia) insisted that the House will not accept any representatives or lawyers, but will only listen to the executives of Binance who will be able answer the questions of the committee without any recourse to “higher authority.”

He reiterated the readiness of the House of Representatives to invoke its powers and issue a warrant of arrest on the evading executives.

He said:

“The committee will be forced to recommend to the House to arrest Binance executives since they have failed to appear before the committee.

“As long as the committee is concerned, Binance is not at this meeting because we have said severally that we do not want representation by lawyers but the chief executives should appear before us. Binance is not here. We have taken a position on it in our last sitting that we are not going to entertain legal representation from Binance and that position stands.

“Based on the fact that Binance is not here, we need to make a recommendation to the House of Representatives for the House to invoke its powers of subpoena to issue a warrant for the leadership of Binance to be arrested and be brought to this committee to answer questions of the grave allegations levelled against them in the petitions brought to us by the Empowerment for Unemployed Youths Initiatives and Niger Delta Youth Council

“This committee has resolved to recommend to the House to invoke its constitutional powers by issuing a subpoena and a warrant for Binance executives to be arrested and brought to this committee to answer these questions relating to financing of terrorism, money laundering and other financial crimes as stated in the petition, including evasion of tax.”

A group, Empowerment for Unemployed Youths Initiatives and Niger Delta Youth Council had petitioned the House alleging that Binance has defrauded Nigerians, especially the youth and that the cryptocurrency exchange platform has yielded itself to forces against the wellbeing and the economy of Nigeria.


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