Federal High Court Orders Binance to Provide Data on Nigerian Traders

In a significant development, the Federal High Court, Abuja, has issued an interim order compelling Binance Holdings Limited to furnish the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with comprehensive data on all Nigerian individuals trading on its platform.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the interim order following an ex-parte motion filed by the EFCC’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho. The ruling mandates Binance to provide detailed information on Nigerian traders using its platform.

The order, delivered on February 29, aims to assist the EFCC in uncovering potential cases of money laundering and terrorism financing facilitated through Binance, a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform.

The motion, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2024, was brought under various provisions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Establishment Act, 2004, the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 (as amended), and the inherent powers of the court.

In an affidavit supporting the motion, EFCC operative Hamma Bello revealed that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) received intelligence regarding illicit activities, including money laundering and terrorism financing, on the Binance platform.

Bello stated that the investigation uncovered users engaging in activities leading to market distortions, causing the devaluation of the Naira against other currencies. Binance allegedly failed to address these issues despite requests from authorities.

According to Bello, data provided by Binance indicates a total trading volume from Nigeria in 2023 amounting to $21.6 billion. This information underscores the urgency and public interest nature of the matter, necessitating prompt action from the court.

Bello emphasized that access to Binance’s data is crucial for the EFCC to conduct thorough investigations and ensure accountability. Denying the request would impede the commission’s efforts to combat financial crimes effectively.

 

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