According to the prosecutor, the Nigerien president who was overthrown on July 26 and has been in military detention ever since had allegedly plotted an exfiltration plan. The Prosecutor General of the Court of Appeals in Niamey, Salissou Chaïbou, took to national television on the evening of October 31 to provide details of what he termed “real facts.”
For Salissou Chaïbou, the facts are clear: on the night of October 18-19, Mohamed Bazoum and his family were apprehended by the presidential guard as they were heading towards the exit of the palace where they were being held. The objective was reportedly to escape to Nigeria via a helicopter, but that’s not all.
“There is also espionage and intelligence gathering regarding the presidential guard’s operations, including capturing images of the presidential guard camp, which are then sent to the French,” said the Prosecutor General near the Court of Appeals in Niamey. According to Mohammed Bazoum’s lawyers, this scenario has been “fabricated from scratch.”
Nonetheless, Nigerien security forces claim to have arrested 23 individuals, including “civilians and military personnel.” Among them are eight students who were arrested at their homes on October 20. Their families report having received no news from their loved ones since their arrest.
Their lawyer, Maître Nasser Laouali, denounces an “illegal procedure”: “The procedure is legally non-existent because nobody knows where they are being arbitrarily detained, and no one has access to them, not their parents, friends, or their lawyer. Since the beginning of this case, when I was contacted by the family, I have moved heaven and earth to access my clients, but in vain.”
As for the overall scenario of the alleged escape attempt, Maître Laouali believes it’s a distraction orchestrated by the CNSP to divert attention from the country’s economic problems.