Nigerian Government Speaks on $150 Million Bribery Allegations by Binance CEO

Nigerian Government Speaks on $150 Million Bribery Allegations by Binance CEO

The Nigerian government has firmly refuted allegations of a $150 million bribe made by Richard Teng, the CEO of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance Holdings Ltd.

In a recent statement, Nigerian authorities categorically denied Teng’s claims and reiterated their commitment to pursuing the criminal case against Binance and its officials to its conclusion.

Earlier reports detailed Teng’s accusation that Nigerian authorities had requested $150 million in cryptocurrency as a bribe to resolve a money laundering trial involving two Binance executives. The trial, initiated by Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), alleges the laundering of over $35 million.

According to Bloomberg, Teng outlined the events leading to the bribery allegation in a blog post. He described a meeting held in Abuja on January 8, 2024, during which Binance representatives were allegedly approached by unidentified individuals suggesting a payment to settle the allegations. Subsequently, Binance’s legal team received a demand for a substantial cryptocurrency payment within 48 hours to quash the accusations.

The Nigerian government’s response, conveyed by Zakari Mijinyawa of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), emphasized their confidence in presenting their case based on factual evidence and due process. Mijinyawa stated, “We are confident that Nigeria has a good case. Binance equally will have every opportunity under the rule of law to make its case and see justice delivered.”

Teng, however, maintained that Binance declined the payment demand through their legal representation, citing concerns for their safety in Nigeria. He also claimed to have received assurances of safety for one of the accused Binance executives if he were to return to Nigeria.

In contrast to Teng’s allegations, a prosecutor from the EFCC, Ekele Iheanacho, dismissed the bribery claim as fabricated and affirmed the agency’s commitment to prosecuting the case diligently.