Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a fundamental rights suit brought by Nadeem Anjarwalla, a senior executive at Binance, against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).

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Nadeem Anjarwalla had turned to the court seeking a declaration that his detention by Nigerian authorities was unlawful, alleging that his arrest and subsequent detention constituted a breach of his fundamental human rights. Alongside his plea for the declaration, he also sought the court’s order for costs in his favor, citing the severe emotional and financial toll that his detention had inflicted on him, his family, and his relatives.

Anjarwalla’s legal battle took a dramatic turn when his lawyer, Tonye Krukrubo, abruptly withdrew from the case. Krukrubo did not provide specific reasons for his withdrawal, which followed reports that Anjarwalla had fled the country after being released from detention. The departure of his legal counsel left Anjarwalla in a precarious position, particularly as he faced significant legal challenges ahead.

Krukrubo’s formal “Notice of Withdrawal of Legal Representation” was submitted to the court, prompting Justice Ekwo to officially note that Anjarwalla was without legal representation. In response to this development, Justice Ekwo adjourned the case to allow Anjarwalla sufficient time to secure new legal counsel to continue his fight.

However, during the subsequent court proceedings, the situation further deteriorated for Anjarwalla. Despite the case being called, neither Anjarwalla nor any legal representation from either party appeared before Justice Ekwo. This absence raised significant questions and led to speculation regarding Anjarwalla’s commitment to pursuing the case, as well as his current whereabouts.

Given the absence of the plaintiff and the lack of legal representation, Justice Ekwo was compelled to issue an order striking out the fundamental rights suit. The judge’s decision effectively brought an end to Anjarwalla’s attempt to seek redress through the courts for what he had claimed was an unlawful detention by Nigerian authorities.

This case highlights the complexities and challenges often involved in legal disputes, especially those concerning fundamental human rights and international business executives. Anjarwalla’s situation underscores the critical importance of continuous legal representation and the strategic management of legal affairs, particularly in cases that involve significant personal and financial stakes.

The dismissal of Anjarwalla’s case serves as a reminder of the procedural rigors and expectations within the judicial system, especially in high-stakes cases involving fundamental rights. It also reflects the Nigerian judiciary’s adherence to procedural rules and the necessity for litigants to consistently follow through with their cases to obtain judicial remedies.

The court’s decision to strike out the case also sends a message about the consequences of non-appearance and the importance of maintaining proper legal procedures and representation, emphasizing that the judicial system requires active and ongoing participation from all parties involved in legal proceedings.