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Nigerian lawmaker threatens legal action against news medium over Binance $140m bribery allegation

Nigerian lawmaker threatens legal action against news medium over Binance $140m bribery allegation

A member of Nigeria’s House of Representative representing Aguata federal constituency of Anambra State, Dominic Okafor, has threatened to take legal action over a media report that he collected a bribe of $140 million from Binance.

He stated this while addressing journalists at the House of Representatives on Friday.

He said the publication was an attempt to smear his name and integrity after moving a motion to probe the escape of a Binance executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla, from the custody of Nigerian security.

READ ALSO: Anambra panel finally reveals how Ejikeme Mmesoma forged her UTME result 

He said: “Shortly after I moved that motion, which was well received and a lot of people were calling to commend me, I started getting calls from my friends all over the world saying I collected bribes from this very company. I got worried and wrote a letter to Premium Times, the media company that originated the story.”

“I wrote a letter to them which I copied the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Clerk, Inspector General of Police, EFCC and DSS. I asked them to retrieve the information within 24 hours, if not I will take legal action against them.”

It would be recalled that bribery allegations were levelled against members of a ‘federal government’s committee’ by an executive of Binance, an online cryptocurrency trading platform.

House of Reps reacts

The House of Representatives also said it will be taking appropriate action against Binance over the bribery allegation against it.

The CEO of Binance, Richard Teng, in a post on Tuesday, stated that the House Committee on Financial Crimes, chaired by Ginger Onwusibe (LP, Abia), demanded money from representatives of Binance during a meeting at the National Assembly Complex in January.

“As our employees were leaving the venue, they were approached by unknown persons who suggested to them to make a payment in settlement of the allegations,” Mr Teng wrote.According to Mr Teng, the meeting was chaired by “Peter Akpanke, the Honourable Philip Agbese, and the Honourable Peter Aniekwe, as well as a clerk.”

Upon resumption of plenary on Wednesday, a member, Kama NkemKanma raised an order of privilege, stating that the claim by Binance CEO is an attempt to embarrass the House.

In his submission, Mr Nkemkanma claimed that the House never had any encounter with Binance.

“We have never invited this person before. This House has never had a meeting with this person before. And this person woke up one morning and decided to accuse this House of demanding a bribe from them. This House can never allow itself to be embarrassed or talked down on in any way,” he said.

 

Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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