Benin authorities arrested the niece and personal doctor of President Boni Yayi, claiming they had tried to poison him at the behest of an angered businessman, the country’s state prosecutor said.
Doctor Ibrahim Mama Cisse, the president’s niece Zouberath Kora, and former trade minister Soumanou Moudjaidou were arrested on Sunday, while cotton magnate Patrice Talon the suspected ringleader of the poison plot is on the run, Justin Gbenameto state prosecutor told reporters on Wednesday.
“The prosecution has requested that they should be charged with conspiracy and attempted murder,’’ Gbenameto said, adding that the attempt to poison Yayi occurred on Oct. 17 while he was visiting Brussels.
Gbenameto said Moudjaidou is believed to have brought the poison into the country, and that he gave it to Cisse to be switched with his regular medication.
Kora was meant to have administered it, but the plot was discovered after she told a family member about the plan, he said.
Talon who lost a lucrative port and customs reform contract in the cotton exporting country earlier this year offered two million dollars each to Cisse, Kora and Moudjaidou for their roles, Gbenameto said.
Yayi 60, a former banker, became president in 2006 and survived an assassination attempt in 2007 when gunmen ambushed his convoy. He won re-election in March last year following a disputed presidential election.