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Ousted Niger president sues military junta in ECOWAS court

Mohamed Bazoum, the ousted Nigerien president has applied to the West African regional court seeking his liberation from house arrest.

Bazoum is also appealing to the court to order a return to constitutional order which was disrupted on July 26 when he was removed from office by a junta led by head of presidential guard, Abdourahmane Tchiani.

The ousted president was placed under house arrest following the coup but his lawyer, Senegalese Seydou Diagne, confirmed to the media that processes have been filed at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court in Abuja, Nigeria.

The application filed on September 18 among others wants the court to overturn Bazoum’s arbitrary detention and enforce his right to movement.

According to lawyer Diagne, his “clients are victims of serious and intolerable human rights violations. They have the right to refer the matter to the competent courts. This cannot aggravate their situation, it is a reason for hope that justice will be given to them.

In the event of a favorable decision, “the State of Niger has the legal obligation to execute the decision,” he assured.

“What interests us is to obtain a conviction of the State of Niger by a court decision. Mr. Bazoum’s fight is a fight through the law,” he stressed.

Seydou Diagne affirmed that “General Tiani (coup leader) is not authorized by Nigerien law to make arrests. He was appointed by decree since 2011 to ensure the security of the president.”

The ECOWAS Court of Justice is composed of 5 judges chosen from among the nationals of the member states.

In mid-August, the military junta announced their intention to prosecute Mohamed Bazoum for “high treason” and “endangering the security” of the country.

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