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Benin's former presidential candidate acquitted of drug charges

Benin's former presidential candidate acquitted of drug charges


The Beninese businessman and former presidential candidate Sebastian Ajavon was released Friday night for “lack of evidence” and “benefit of the doubt” in drug-related charges.

He was arrested on October 28 with three others for suspicion of cocaine trafficking.

After the hearing that lasted about 10 hours, the court pronounced the acquittal of the four defendants including Sébastien Ajavon and his co-accused Barnabas Yéloassi, Christian Tolodji and Nestor Ajavon.

The four were released after spending a week at the territorial brigade of Cotonou gendarmerie.

“Benin’s justice has once more given proof that you can be proud of,” lawyer for Sébastien Ajavon, Alain Orounla said after the court ruling.

There was jubilation throughout the city by supporters and sympathizers of the businessman who came third in the presidential election in March 2016.

Sébastien Ajavon was arrested with three of his staff after the discovery of nearly 14 million euros worth of cocaine in a container at the Cotonou port loaded with cartons of turkey gizzards for his company, Comon SA.

The police told the media that they “found 18 kg of pure cocaine in the container with an estimated value of about 9 billion CFA francs.”

Ajavon said he was a victim of a conspiracy.

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