News24

Bid to indict Benin leader rejected

2010-08-23 07:33

Cotonou - The speaker of Benin's parliament has rejected a call from 48 opposition lawmakers to indict President Thomas Yayi Boni in connection with an illegal investment fund.

In a statement received on Sunday by AFP, the speaker, Nathurin Nago, cited a lack of evidence for his rejection of the request lodged on July 31 that Yoyi face the high court of justice in the West African state.

"The request for legal action formulated by the deputies who signed it sets out no material proof that would steer the national assembly to the crime of abuse of authority alleged committed by the president," Nago said.

"I have, with all responsibility, declared it inadmissible."

Lawmakers do have a right to pursue their concerns, he added, but they can only do so in line with rules of procedure which stipulate that material evidence be presented.

The 48 plaintiffs suspect Yayi - a former banker elected in March 2006 on an anti-corruption platform - of "favouring the activities of ICC Services" which diverted the funds of its investors.

The president sacked interior minister Armand Zinzindohoue and the Contonou appeals court chief prosector on July 7 in connection with the case. He also ordered an investigation.

According to a source close to the probe, one of Yoyi's cousins has been arrested and is now being held in a detention centre in Benin's capital Cotonou.