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Niger Rejects Court Ruling on Former President


Authorities in Niger have rejected a regional court's ruling that states ex-president Mamadou Tandja should be released from his current detention.

Authorities in Niger have rejected a ruling by a West African regional court that orders the release of Nigerien ex-president Mamadou Tandja.

Niger authorities said they will seek a judicial review of the ruling, which was given by an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) judge, Awa Nana Daboya on Monday. The judge ruled Tandja is being arbitrarily detained and should be released immediately.

A 2009 file photo of Niger's Former President Mamadou Tandja (C), surrounded by bodyguards in Niamey

A 2009 file photo of Niger's Former President Mamadou Tandja (C), surrounded by bodyguards in Niamey

Daboya said that since Tandja's arrest, he has not been taken in front of a court to be charged or plead his case.

Tandja was arrested and has been detained in a home on the presidential compound in Niger's capital, Niamey, since February when he was ousted by a coup.

Daboya added that it was impossible for Niger authorities to hold Tandja legally, because the ex-president had dismantled the government instruments needed to try his case.

In August of 2009, Tandja pushed through a new constitution for Niger that abolished term limits and increased the president's power. When Niger's parliament and constitutional court said the vote was illegal, he dissolved both bodies and ruled by decree.

Last week, voters in Niger endorsed a new constitution that reverses Mr. Tandja's changes and clears the way for new elections, which are scheduled for January.

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