July 20, 2024

On Friday, a West African court declared that Mohamed Bazoum, the deposed president of Niger, and his family had been wrongfully imprisoned and demanded that he be restored to office so that democracy may once again prevail.

On July 26, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. His party and family claim that since then, he and his family have been detained without access to light or running water.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions as a result of the coup, which was strongly denounced and sparked calls for Bazoum’s release and the restoration of democracy.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, in September, he and his family submitted their case to the ECOWAS Court of Justice.

Judge Gberi-Be Ouattara demanded that Bazoum be released immediately and without conditions and directed the junta to restore constitutional order by restoring him.

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The ruling did not prompt a quick response from the junta.

His lawyers claim that Bazoum, his wife, and their kid are being detained in the presidential mansion in the nation’s capital, Niamey. They haven’t been told about any court cases against them or given the opportunity to speak with a magistrate.

In a joint statement, Bazoum’s attorney Mohamed Seydou Diagne described the verdict as a “historic” legal indictment of Niger’s self-appointed military leadership.

The primary jurisdiction of the regional entity is the ECOWAS Court of Justice, whose rulings are final and cannot be challenged. The lawyers stated that the junta has been given a month to communicate on how it intends to carry out the ruling.

Following two coups in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso over the previous three years, military governments in charge of a large portion of Niger have tried to distance themselves from France, the former colonial master, and other Western friends.

A committee of chiefs of state was established by ECOWAS during a summit on Sunday in Nigeria to engage in negotiations with the junta in Niger.

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