Court Orders Binance to Share Transaction Details, Names of Nigerian Users With EFCC

A Nigerian high court sitting in the country’s capital, Abuja has ordered the popular crypto trading platform, Binance to provide comprehensive information of all Nigerian users trading on its platform to the country’s economic anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to a report by the Nigeria News Agency (NAN), High Court Judge, Justice Emeka Nwite granted the interim order after ruling on the ex parte motion application (FHC/ABJ/CS/259/2024) dated and filed on 29th February 2024 by EFCC’s lawyer, Ekele Iheanacho. The interim order enabled the anti-graft agency to unravel the alleged money laundering and terrorism financing on Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange platform.

The ex parte brought according to Sections 6(b), (h), (I), 7(1), (a)(2), and 38 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Establishment Act, 2004 and Section 15 of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 (as amended) and the inherent powers of the court.

“The applicant’s application is hereby granted as prayed. That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing the operators of Binance to provide the commission with comprehensive data/information relating to all persons from Nigeria trading on its platform,” the judge was quoted to have declared.

Also, an affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by Hamma Bello, an operative of the EFCC attached to the Special Investigation Team (domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser- ONSA) stated that the motion was raised because the agency “received an intelligence stating the nefarious activities (money laundering and terrorism financing) on Binance”.

“The team uncovered users who have been using the platform for price discovery, confirmation, and market manipulation, which has caused tremendous distortions in the market, resulting in the Naira losing its value against other currencies”, it added.

Binance vs Nigeria Government: A bit of backstory
We reported 4 days ago that the Federal Government of Nigeria In a new development reportedly ordered crypto exchange, Binance to reveal its top 100 users in the country as part of its investigations into the activities of the exchange.

According to a report by Vanguard, the FG also ordered Binance to release all transaction history over the past 6 months. This, the report said, was to establish the negotiations between the Nigerian government and the cryptocurrency exchange. According to the report, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) was also asking the exchange to resolve any outstanding tax liabilities.

This is coming amid a government crackdown on the activities of crypto exchanges suspected of fixing the dollar-to-naira exchange rate on their platforms. Prominent of these platforms is Binance, a company with a running history with the government. Overall, it had been a really wild February for the company as the government decided to make a scapegoat of it.

The company’s ordeal began when the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga urged the Central Bank and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to clamp down on cryptocurrency companies for alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange market.

In a statement issued on X (Twitter), Bayo said Binance blatantly sets exchange rates for Nigeria and hijacks the CBN’s role, adding that it is a platform that suffers access limitations from multiple jurisdictions, such as the US, Singapore, Canada, and the UK. According to him, crypto exchanges like Binance and Kucoin ought to be prohibited from Nigeria’s cyberspace.

In the same vein, Central Bank Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, revealed that over the last 12 months, more than $26 billion has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and accounts that were not adequately identified.

With that narrative gaining steam, the Central Bank of Nigeria, in conjunction with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed all telecommunications companies in the country to restrict access to crypto companies’ websites and applications. Before long, Binance users were complaining about not getting access to their platforms. The company was eventually forced to take down its Naira P2P platform


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