HURIWA: Escape of Binance Executive Shows Nation Compromised By Corruption

  • Calls for NSA, Immigration boss’ sack

Alex Enumah in Abuja

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Monday stated that the escape from custody of a Binance Executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, has further portrayed Nigeria as a country that is compromised by corruption.

To this extent, the rights group has called for “severe and immediate consequences” for what it described as a breach of national security.

Reports had it that Anjarwalla, 38, had last Friday, escaped from the Abuja guest house where he and his colleague were being detained after guards on duty led him to a nearby mosque for prayers in the spirit of the ongoing Ramadan fast.

The reports added that the British fugitive, who also has Kenyan citizenship, is believed to have flown out of Abuja using a Middle East airliner.

Reacting to the development, HURIWA through its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, who condemned the “altogether staged escape of this fugitive from lawful custody”, argued that the incident is a clear indication that some persons in position of authority in the security architecture of Nigeria are ready to compromise national security on the altar of pecuniary benefits. 

“We call on the president to fire the National Security Adviser and the Comptroller General of Nigerian Immigration for allowing either willfully or by dereliction, this high profile breach of Nigeria’s national security,” Onwubiko said.

According to him, what has happened can be equated with actively aiding and abetting sabotage of Nigeria’s economy.

He further stated that if the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Office of the National Security Adviser were unable to provide concrete evidence that there was no compromise that allowed Anjarwalla to escape from lawful custody, then there must be very serious consequences.

The rights group perceived Anjarwalla’s escape as the failure of relevant authorities to provide adequate security and surveillance around the fugitive.

It therefore called on the Nigerian state to look at the lapses from the point of view of possible compromise with corruption, which it said has totally tarnished the image of Nigeria and painted a graphic picture of a country where national security can be seamlessly compromised even by foreigners who are suspected of deep-seated conflict with the law of Nigeria. 

Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa Regional Manager, and Tigran Gambaryan, a US citizen overseeing Financial Crime Compliance at the crypto exchange platform, were detained upon their arrival in Nigeria on February 26, 2024.

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