Niger’s ousted president appeals to ECOWAS court to free him

niger

The ousted president of Niger, who was removed in a coup in July, has appealed through his attorney to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court, seeking his release. This plea was announced by his lawyer on Wednesday.

Mohamed Bazoum, who was toppled from power by members of his presidential guard on July 26, has been under house arrest along with his wife and child since then.

On September 18, he filed a lawsuit with the regional court in Abuja, Nigeria, which falls under the West African bloc, alleging his “unjustified detention” and “violation of his freedom of movement,” as stated by his Senegalese lawyer, Seydou Diagne.

The lawsuit requests that, due to the infringement on his political rights, the State of Niger be instructed to promptly restore constitutional order by reinstating President Bazoum, who should continue to hold office until the completion of his term.

ECOWAS, which had imposed sanctions on Niger, has cautioned that it may consider military intervention in Niger if diplomatic efforts to reinstate Bazoum fail, as a last resort.

Niger’s coup occurred in a region plagued by violence from armed groups, following coups in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso. In September, these three countries entered into a mutual defence pact to form the Alliance of Sahel States to collectively respond to potential threats of armed rebellion or external aggression.

If the court rules in favour of Bazoum, Diagne emphasized that “Niger is legally obligated to implement the decision.”

The leaders of Niger’s coup have stated their intention to charge the democratically elected Bazoum with “high treason and undermining internal and external security.”

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