Last week, a Nigerian judge ordered detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan to be transferred for medical treatment after he collapsed in court. However, the Nigerian Correctional Service ignored the order, according to Yuki Gambaryan, Tigran’s wife, and a government official familiar with the matter.

Malaria and severe laryngitis

Gambaryan, who suffers from malaria and a severe throat infection, has been denied access to a hospital. Instead, he is being treated at a clinic in Kuje prison, which is reportedly poorly supplied and in urgent need of renovation. Yuki Gambaryan fears that her husband’s physical and mental health is deteriorating.

“I am devastated and shocked that despite the court’s clear directive for his hospitalization, the authorities did not allow him to leave the prison that caused his illness,” Yuki said.

Not unusual among Nigerian officials

Failure to comply with court orders is not uncommon among Nigerian officials. In Gambaryan’s case, it appears that prosecutors and prison authorities are trying to block his transfer to Nizamiye Hospital, the preferred facility ordered by his lawyers. Last week, prosecutors urged the court to give prison officials some flexibility in choosing the hospital for Gambaryan’s treatment.

Yuki Gambaryan insists that her husband has done nothing wrong and is suffering simply because he accepted an invitation to a meeting in Abuja. A source close to the case stated that some people are pushing for him to be transferred to Kuje General Hospital, which is closer to the prison, despite the health facility’s bad reputation. Nizamiye Hospital, on the other hand, is a luxurious private medical complex.

Pleas from Gambaryan’s family

Gambaryan’s situation has prompted desperate pleas from his family. “Tigran does not deserve such inhumane treatment,” Yuki said. “He has done nothing wrong and is simply suffering because he accepted an invitation to a meeting in Abuja.”

The February meeting was aimed at settling a dispute between Binance and the Nigerian government, after the government blamed the cryptocurrency exchange for its role in the country’s currency woes. Gambaryan and British lawyer Nadeem Anjarwalla, Binance’s Africa manager based in Kenya, were arrested after the failed meeting and had their passports confiscated. Anjarwalla escaped from custody a month later and has been missing since. An Interpol search notice has been issued for his arrest.

In April, Nigerian officials escalated the dispute with Binance by charging Gambaryan, Anjarwalla and the crypto exchange with tax violations and money laundering.


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