Benin authorities have arrested President Thomas Boni Yayi’s doctor, his niece and an ex-minister over a suspected plot to poison the leader, the public prosecutor said on Monday.
According to him the detained will face charges of criminal conspiracy and attempted assassination of the West African leader. The accused, the president’s niece and his doctor were promised one billion CFA francs ($2m) to replace Yayi’s anti-pain medicine with poison. Report says that, the instigator of the plot is assumed to be a Benin businessman named Patrice Talon, a former supporter of the president’s but who has recently been at odds with him. Talon is presently out of the country and has not been under arrest, but Gbenameto told AFP that the Benin authorities intend to issue an arrest warrant for him.
The arrests were made on Sunday and those arrested included Moudjaidou Soumanou, former minister of commerce, Yayi’s personal doctor Ibrahim Mama Cisse, and Zouberath Kora-Seke, one of Yayi’s nieces who worked at the presidency. An arrest warrant is intended to be issue for businessman Patrice Talon, a former ally of Mr Yayi who fell out with the leader though out of the country. The head of state was thankfully, the plot was not successful, said Gbenameto since Zouberath spoke about it with her sister and others, and those people warned the head of state about it.
The 60-year-old leader is an economist who first took office in 2006 and won re-election last year. He had quit his job as president of the Togo-based West African Development Bank, where he had worked since 1994, to run for president. In 2007, he was a victim of an surprise attack by gunmen who attacked his convoy during an election campaign tour but he survived.