Niger's coup leaders say they will prosecute deposed President Mohamed Bazoum for 'high treason'

The military junta also slammed ECOWAS for imposing sanctions on the country

United States Niger's Hostage Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum | AP

Niger's military junta, late on Sunday, said they would prosecute the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum. The coup leaders said they gathered the necessary evidence to “prosecute” Bazoum for “high treason” and “undermining” the security of the country, CNN reported. 

“The Nigerien government has to date, gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the deposed president and his local and foreign accomplices before the competent national and international authorities for high treason and undermining internal and external security of Niger,” the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) told CNN.

They added that the president receives regular doctor check-ups and that there's no problem with his health and that of his family members. The military junta, that had ceased power from Bazoum, had, on Sunday said that they are ready to consider a diplomatic solution to its stand-off with the West African bloc ECOWAS, AFP reported.

The military junta also slammed ECOWAS for imposing sanctions on the country. Coup leader General Abdourahamane Tiani said it was "painful" that ECOWAS had issued an ultimatum to restore Bazoum without hearing "their side of the matter".

Military leaders called the sanctions inhuman and said that they were making it difficult for people to access medicines, food and electricity. A day after Sheikh Bala Lau and his Nigerian Muslim delegation held talks with Tiani, the latter "claimed the coup was well intended" and that the plotters "struck to stave off an imminent threat that would have affected" Nigeria as well as Niger. 

Since the military coup, demonstrations in favour of the military leaders have become a common sight in the capital city of Niamey. On July 30, ECOWAS issued an ultimatum to restore Bazoum in seven days or face the potential use of force. The military leaders, however, did not cede. 

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