Connect with us

News

Binance executive escapes from custody in Nigeria

Published

on

Nadeem Anjarwalla, one of the detained Binance executives in Nigeria facing allegations of tax evasion and other offenses, has reportedly escaped from custody.

According to a Premium Times report, the 38-year-old Anjarwalla escaped on Friday, March 22, 2024, from the Abuja guest house, where he and his colleague were in custody after guards on duty led him to a nearby mosque for prayers in the spirit of the ongoing Ramadan fast.

The Briton, who also has Kenyan citizenship, is believed to have flown out of Abuja using a Middle East airliner.

It remains unclear how Mr Anjarwalla got on an international flight despite his British passport, with which he entered Nigeria, remaining in the custody of the Nigerian authorities.

Authorities are also said to be working to unravel his intended destination in a bid to get him back into custody.

An Immigration official quoted in the report said the Binance executive fled Nigeria on a Kenyan passport.

He, however, said authorities were trying to determine how he obtained the passport, given that he had no other travel document (apart from the British passport) on him.

Another source said the two officials were at a “comfortable guest house”. They were said to have been allowed many rights, including telephones, a privilege Anjarwalla exploited to plot an escape.

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 26 February 2024.

The Nigerian government filed a criminal charge against the two executives before a Magistrate Court in Abuja.

On 28 February 2024, the court granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an order to remand the duo for 14 days. The court also ordered Binance to provide the Nigerian government with the data/information of Nigerians trading on its platform.

Following Binance’s refusal to comply with the order, the court extended the officials’ remand for an additional 14 days to prevent them from tampering with evidence. The court then adjourned the case until 4 April 2024.

Also, on 22 March, the Nigerian government approached the Federal High Court in Abuja. The government slammed Binance Holdings Limited, Anjarwalla, and Gambaryan with another four-count charge, accusing them of offering services to subscribers on their platform while failing to register with the Federal Inland Revenue Service to pay all relevant taxes administered by the Service and, in so doing, committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 8 of the Value Added Tax Act of 1993 (as Amended).

According to the Nigerian government, Binance offered taxable services to subscribers on their trading platform while failing to issue invoices to those subscribers to determine and pay their value-added taxes. In so doing, they committed an offence contrary to and punishable under S.29 of the Value Added Tax Act of 1993 (as amended).

News

Police detain Yahaya Bello’s ADC, security details

Published

on

By

The Nigeria Police Force has detained a female police officer who was the aide-de-camp to embattled former Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, Saturday PUNCH has learnt.

The ADC was arrested alongside other police officers attached to 48-year-old Bello, and is being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Their arrests and detention followed a Thursday night order by the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, directing their immediate withdrawal from the former governor.

Senior police sources, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity because they did not have authorisation to comment publicly on the matter, noted that the officers were arrested on the suspicion that they aided and abetted Bello’s escape from operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who had gone to effect his arrest at his Abuja home on Wednesday.

“The ADC and the other police details attached to Yahaya Bello have been arrested and detained.

“They were arrested on the order of the IG, on the suspicion that they aided and abetted the former governor’s escape from the EFCC on Wednesday,” one of the sources told our correspondent in a telephone conversation on Friday.

Another source said, “Yahaya Bello’s female ADC and other police officers attached to him were brought to the command this morning, and they’ve been detained for aiding and abetting (the governor’s escape).”

Egbetokun had, on Thursday night, ordered the withdrawal of all police officers attached to Bello.

The order for the withdrawal was contained in a police wireless message sighted by our correspondent on Friday morning.

The document read, “CB:4001/DOPS/PMF/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.48/ 34 X ORDER AND DIRECTIVES X FOLLOWING MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM NIGPOL.

“DOPS ABUJA X BEGINS X CB:4001/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.21/462 DTO:180955/04/2024 X ORDER AND DIRECTIVES X REF MYLET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/36 DATED 15/04/2024 X AND MY EARLIER LET NO CB:3412/DOPS/FHQ/ABJ/VOL.1/30 DATED 24/01/2024 X Nigeria police have ordered the withdrawal of all men.

“Police attached to His Excellency and former Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, should acknowledge compliance and treat with utmost importance. Please above for your information and strict compliance.”

Also, the Federal Government had on Thursday night placed Bello on a watch list.

In a document exclusively obtained by our correspondent on Thursday night, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, revealed that Bello was placed on a watchlist for conspiracy, breach of trust, and money laundering.

The Assistant Comptroller General signed the document and copied the Nigeria Customs Service, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services, and the Director of the National Internet Agency.

The document read, “I am directed to inform you that the above-named person has been placed on a watch list. Suffice to mention that the subject is being prosecuted before the Federal High Court Abuja for Conspiracy, Breach of Trust and Money Laundering vide letter Ref; CR; 3000/EFCC/LS/EGCS.1/TE/V 1/279 dated April 18, 2024.

“If seen at any entry or exit point, he should be arrested and referred to the Director of Investigation, or contact 08036226329/07039617304 for further action.

“Please, accept as always the Comptroller-General’s warmest regards and esteem.”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had earlier declared Bello wanted for laundering the sum of N80,246,470,088.88.

The development was contained in a notice posted on the commission’s official Facebook page on Thursday, with a snapshot of the embattled ex-governor attached.

The notice read, “The public is hereby notified that Yahaya Adoza Bello (former Governor of Kogi State), whose photograph appears above is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in connection with an alleged case of Money Laundering to the tune of N80,246,470,089.88 (Eighty Billion, Two Hundred and Forty Six Million, Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand and Eighty Nine Naira, Eighty Eight Kobo).

“Bello, a 48-year-old Ebira man, is a native of Okenne Local Government of Kogi State. His last known address is: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja. Anybody with useful information as to his whereabouts should please contact the Commission.”

Bello had, on Thursday, failed to appear before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja following his arraignment by the EFCC.

The embattled former governor was arraigned in absentia before Justice Emeka Nwite alongside three other suspects, Ali Bello, Dauda Suleiman and Abdulsalam Hudu on 19-count charges bordering on money laundering.

Continue Reading

News

Owners to pay fine as Anambra sets to remove illegal structures

Published

on

By

The Anambra government says it will soon commence the removal of illegal structures across the state.

In a statement issued on Friday, Paul Nwosu, information commissioner in Anambra, said owners of such illegal structures would “bear the cost of the logistics of removal”.

“Anambra State Government has noticed that in spite of the warnings given to owners of illegal structures to remove them, these notices have been largely disregarded,” the statement reads.

“This government is a proponent of law and order, and therefore will not condone any flagrant violation of legitimate directives given in the interest of public good.

“Government has repeatedly stated that these illegal structures distort and completely mangle our cities’ original masterplan. This has resulted in the blocking of our drainages and water channels, causing flooding and, sometimes, loss of lives. This can no longer be tolerated as the rainy season is just around the corner.

“Let it be known therefore that as the government has directed individuals, companies, market and park leaders to commence intensive desilting of their gutters and drainages, it will soon start a sustained campaign to remove illegal structures.

“Owners of such structures are therefore advised to remove them on their own so that they can carefully evacuate their belongings.

“But where they ignore government notices and the structures are removed by the government, the owner(s) of such structure(s) will bear the cost of the logistics of removal. The owner of the structure will be given a stipulated time to pay, after which the property/goods within would be disposed to settle the cost.”

Nwosu added that some of the illegal structures might have been erected by the owners out of ignorance of the law or other reasons.

“But now that they know, it is only proper they remove the structures by themselves to avoid the harsh consequences that may trail their negligence to act promptly,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

Ex-Oyo gov, Olunloyo debunks death rumour, says I’m alive

Published

on

By

An elder statesman and former governor of old Oyo State, Dr Omololu Olunloyo, has broken his silence about the rumour of his death, saying he is alive.

Olunloyo who spoke with The PUNCH correspondent who visited his Molete residence in Ibadan, the state capital on Friday said he was hale and hearty.

Earlier, the rumour of the death of the elder statesman was reported by some news platforms (not The PUNCH).

However, Olunloyo, while speaking said, “I’m still here, not yet gone.”

He also expressed worry over the rumour and asked who would live forever, stressing, “Those breaking death news and the person presumed dead will all die one day.

“I’ve been lucky. My father died at 42, while my mother died at 102. I’m 89. I’ve crossed the expected life age.”

The elder statesman also illustrated how the rumour of his death hit several news platforms on June 7, 2022.

He noted that the rumour mongers claimed that he died at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.

A few days later, the family issued a statement, declaring that he was not dead but suffering from old age ailment and asked Nigerians to pray for him to survive the health complications.

Continue Reading

Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

Most Read...