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Nigerien opposition leader's doctor released

Nigerien opposition leader's doctor released


A doctor to Nigerien opposition leader Hama Amadou has been released from jail after fours days in detention.

Harouna Yacouba had been treating Amadou, a presidential aspirant and also a former parliamentary speaker who was imprisoned.

Yacouba has been charged by the country’s prosecutor for spreading ‘false news’ after going on various television stations saying that Amadou had been hospitalized due to his deteriorating health in the town of Filingue which is a couple of hundred kilometres northeast of the capital Niamey.

Speaking to the press, Yacouba’s lawyer said that his client is to return on Thursday before the prosecutor ‘for further action in the matter’.

The doctor was arrested earlier in the week when he was attending to Amadou who has now been evacuated to France for further specialised medical treatment.

Amadou was arrested last year after he returned to the country over a baby-trafficking scandal. He is yet to be convicted of the charges which he strongly denies.

Amadou is to face President Mahamadou Issoufou in the country’s presidential run off on Sunday.

This is not the first time, the former speaker is participating in the polls. In 2011, Amadou came in third in the first round of the presidential election vote.

However, critics say Issoufou is likely to clinch the mandate.

An opposition coalition spokesman is calling on voters to boycott the polls as he says the last elections were marred by widespread vote-rigging.

Earlier in the year, the electoral body completed changes to its register as recommended by the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF). These changes included the ejection of about 300 ‘ghost’ polling stations and 25,000 voters counted twice.