Niger’s opposition presidential candidate Hama Amadou was released temporarily on Friday night for treatment at a local clinic in Filingué, the same area where his prison is located.
This is contrary to earlier reports indicating the jailed opposition candidate had been transferred to the capital.
Salah Amadou who earlier said the prisoner was transferred to the capital told the AFP that “Hama Amadou was brought to the clinic in Filingué under heavy security escort for treatment in the presence of his doctor and then taken back to his cell.”
A spokesperson for the opposition coalition for Change (COPA 2016), Ousséini Salatou indicated that Amadou was originally scheduled to have been flown by helicopter for treatment but the plan was later canceled.
Amadou who has been in prison since November 2015 on child trafficking charges “has been ill for a while, but his condition worsened on Thursday”, said Salatou thus prompting the temporal release for treatment.
The 66-year-old former Prime Minister who run his whole campaign from jail managed to push the February 21 presidential election into a second round having garnered 17.79 percent of the votes as against president Mahamadou Issoufou’s 48.41 percent.
The second round of the polls is scheduled for March 20. But the opposition coalition (COPA 2016) which has criticised the first round of voting has said it will not participate in the runoff polls.
COPA on March 2, demanded the release of Hama Amadou to enable him contest the runoff polls. An application for bail by his lawyers will be heard on March 14.