BREAKING: Arraignment of Binance executives suffers setback


 Trial of Binance executives scheduled to commence at the Federal high court, Abuja on Thursday suffered a major setback.

When the matter was called on Thursday, only Gambaryan was represented by a lawyer.

The News Agency of Nigeria observed that neither the company nor Anjarwalla, who recently escaped from lawful custody, was represented by a counsel.

Gambaryan’s lawyer, Chukwuka Ikwuazo (SAN), told the court that his client had not been served with the charge, hence his arraignment cannot proceed.

The lawyer of the FIRS, Moses Ideho, though acknowledged that the agency had not served Gambaryan with the charge, he said all efforts to do so proved abortive because the defendant could not be reached at the detention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ideho then prayed to the court to serve Gambaryan in the open court.

The judge directed that the charge be served on him in the dock.

The lawyer, therefore, sought a stand-down of the matter or an adjournment to enable Gambaryan to consult with his lawyer.

Ikwuazo did not object to an oral application for adjournment and the matter was adjourned until April 19 for him to take his plea.

NAN on March 28 also reported that the FIRS will on April 4, 2024 arraigned Binance Holdings Limited, Gambaryan and fleeing Anjarwalla on allegations bordering on tax evasion.

In the charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/115/2024, the three defendants will equally be arraigned before Justice Nwite on four counts.

NAN reports that the defendants are being charge on a four-count charge bordering on alleged tax evasion.

In the charge dated and filed March 22, 2024 by the FIRS, the defendants were alleged to have committed the offence on or about February 1, 2024.

Count one alleged that while involved in carrying and offering services to subscribers on their platform, known as Binance, the defendants failed to register with the FIRS for the purpose of paying all relevant taxes administered by the service.

The offences are said to be punishable under Sections 8 and 29 of the VAT Act of 1993 (as Amended), Section 40 of the FIRS Establishment Act, 2007 (as amended) and under the provisions of Section 94 of the Companies Income Tax Act (as amended).

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