Niger opposition figure’s wife jailed in baby traffick case
Niger opposition leader Hama Amadou’s wife was jailed for baby smuggling Wednesday along with others who were tried and convicted in the case in March, the prosecutor’s office said.
A group of around 20 people, including Hadiza Hama Amadou and former government minister Abdou Labo, were tried and convicted to a year’s jail in March but were not immediately imprisoned.
The prosecutor’s office said the authorities had “begun to execute” the sentence and that “the women will be jailed at Kollo and the men at Say”, towns located to the south of the capital Niamey.
Amadou’s wife was locked up at Kollo jail, said the private Labari TV network.
Hama Amadou, who competed against President Mahamadou Issoufou in last year’s elections, is in France. He was tried in absentia and also convicted.
The group were accused of smuggling babies from Nigeria via Benin to wealthy couples in Niger.
Shortly before the verdict in March, defence lawyers had walked out of court saying legal procedures had not been upheld and that the goal was to prevent Amadou from running again for office.
A former premier and parliamentary speaker, Amadou has been nicknamed “the Phoenix” for his political comebacks.
He was arrested on November 14, 2015 on his return from exile, and was forced to campaign for the presidency from behind bars.
He was released on medical grounds on March 16, 2016, four days before the second round of the voting, and flew to France.
Issoufou went on to win with 92 percent of the run-off ballot. With the opposition boycotting the election, Amadou only got seven percent of the vote.
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