Togo’s main opposition leader arrested for declaring himself president

The main opposition leader of Togo, Agbéyomé Kodjo, has been arrested.

Togo’s main opposition leader,  Kodjo Messan Gabriel Agbéyomé

The former Prime Minister, Agbéyomé Kodjo, was arrested on Tuesday (April 21, 2020) at his home.

According to AFP, he was taken to the gendarmerie’s Central Research and Criminal Investigation Service.

One of his lawyers, Claver N’dry, who confirmed the incident said that his house was besieged before the operatives forcibly broke into the house.

Authorities in the West African country accused Agbéyomé Kodjo of failing to comply with two previous summons.

However, his lawyers justified that his absence was due to ill health.

The prosecutor said the opposition leader is guilty in particular of “…aggravated disturbances of public order and of undermining the internal security of the state.”

In March this year, the Togolese National Assembly stripped Kodjo Agbéyomé, of his parliamentary immunity.

The Togolese government accused the leader of the Patriotic Movement for Democracy and Development (MPDD) of plotting coup d’état.

The immunity was lifted at the request of the Lomé public prosecutor’s office, which accused him of proclaiming himself president of the Republic, even though the electoral commission had declared Faure Gnassingbé the winner of the February presidential election.

He came second in the presidential election even though he also won his seat as a parliamentarian.

Meanwhile, the Togolese bishops’ conference has called for the release of , Agbéyomé Kodjo and condemned “the brutality and violence” that came with his arrest.

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