Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who is also the chairperson of ECOWAS, says the regional bloc recognises Mohamed Bazoum as the legitimate President of Niger. Photo: AA       / Photo: Reuters

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has faulted Nigerien coup leaders over their plot to prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

The coup leaders are accusing Bazoum of high treason and undermining the security of Niger.

If charged and found guilty, Bazoum could face death penalty, according to the country’s Penal Code.

The military in Niger had earlier claimed Bazoum was in regular communication with foreign leaders, who are fighting the transitional government, and have imposed sanctions on the country.

In a rejoinder, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says “it has learnt with stupefaction attempts to bring charges of high treason against Mohamed Bazoum.”


ECOWAS added that it “condemns this move as it represents yet another form of provocation and contradicts the reported willingness of the military authorities in the Republic of Niger to restore constitutional order through peaceful means.”

In its statement on Monday, the West African regional bloc emphasised that Bazoum “remains the democratically-elected President of the Republic of Niger recognised by ECOWAS and the international community.”

“ECOWAS condemns his illegal detention and calls for his immediate release and reinstatement,” the regional body said.

According to self-declared leader of Niger Republic, Abdourahamane Tchiani, the coup against Bazoum on July 26 was well intended, and that it was carried out to prevent the country’s imminent collapse.

According to military spokesperson, Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane, there is enough evidence to charge Bazoum with high treason.

The soldiers, however, say they are open to meeting ECOWAS officials to find a peaceful solution to the leadership crisis in Niger.

Besides sanctions, ECOWAS has activated its standby force in efforts to reverse Bazoum’s removal from office.

TRT Afrika