Business News

SEC director tells court Binance P2P feature was used to devalue Naira 

A director at the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Abdulkadir Abbas, has told the Federal High Court, Abuja, that the cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance  Limited, used its Naira peer-to-peer (P2P) virtual feature to devalue the Nigerian currency. 

Abbas, who identified himself as Director, of Exchanges and Market Infrastructure (SEC), told Justice Emeka Nwite on Friday that the Naira P2P feature deployed by Binance as well as the number of people on the platform “adversely affected the official exchange rate.” 

Naijaonpoint reports that the Nigerian government had accused Binance and its executives, Tygran Gambaryan and the fleeing Nadeem Anjarwalla, of allegedly conspiring amongst themselves to conceal the origin of the financial proceeds of their alleged unlawful activities in Nigeria, including $35,400, 000. 

The Nigerian authorities said they committed an offense contrary to Section 21 (a) and punishable under Section 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022. 

The trial commenced on Friday after the judge declined Gambaryan’s bail request. 

Led in evidence by counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ekele Iheanacho, the SEC director said  Binance operated a trading platform that was not registered or regulated by the SEC and was in breach of the extant provision of relevant laws in Nigeria  

The director said the Binance model invariably created uncertainty and Nigeria’s exchange values were raised arbitrarily on the platform, thereby impacting negatively on the country’s financial system stability. 

Gambaryan’s lawyer, Babatunde Fagbohunlu (SAN), told the judge that there were aspects of the cross-examination that would require documents already tendered in court as proof of evidence. 

He said he had applied for the certified true copies of the exhibits but had yet to get them. 

He asked for an adjournment. 

Subsequently, the case was adjourned to May 23 for cross-examination of the prosecution’s first witness. 

More insights