Niger court rejects bail for presidential hopeful

2016-01-11 17:06
Hama Amadou, a previous head of Nigers' parliament, delivering a speech at the Parliament House in Niamey. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

Hama Amadou, a previous head of Nigers' parliament, delivering a speech at the Parliament House in Niamey. (Issouf Sanogo, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Niamey - A Niger court on Monday denied bail to Hama Amadou, a leading opposition figure and contender in next month's presidential election who has been jailed for his alleged role in a baby trafficking scandal.

An appeals court upheld the decision of another court in late December that the former premier and parliament speaker, arrested on November 14 upon his return from exile in France, should not be granted conditional release.

"The judge said the appeal could be admitted in theory but he turned down the request" for bail, said Ibrahim Bana, a member from Amadou's party who was present in the Niamey court.

Amadou's lawyers were not in court as lawyers across the west African country staged a one-day strike over the authorities' refusal to let them assist clients who have been detained since last month in connection with an alleged coup plot.

The opposition has condemned the arrests as politically motivated in the run-up to the elections.

Niger's constitutional court this month approved 15 candidates for the February 21 presidential polls, including Amadou, who is also a former parliament speaker.

Incumbent Mahamadou Issoufou, elected in 2011, is seeking another term and will also be up against chief opposition leader Seini Oumarou, former president Mahamane Ousmane and ex-planning minister Amadou Boubacar Cisse.

The electoral campaign begins on January 30.

"We will be conducting the campaign as if Mr Amadou were free," said Bana.

Several other senior political, military and business figures who also face accusations of participating in the trafficking of babies from neighbouring Nigeria have been released pending trial.

The defendants are accused of taking illegal custody of around 30 babies, including twins, born to women in private Nigerian clinics that offer infants for sale.

Amadou denies the allegations and has denounced the legal process against him as a ploy keep him sidelined from the elections.

He left Niger in August 2014 to escape the charges but returned last November, when he was immediately arrested and sent to prison in Filingue, northeast of the capital.

Read more on:    hama amadou  |  niger  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.