The Straits Times
Published on Oct 23, 2012

Benin says doctor, niece tried to poison president


COTONOU (REUTERS) - 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, Mr Justin Gbenameto told reporters late on Monday.

"The prosecution has requested that they should be charged with conspiracy and attempted murder," Mr Gbenameto said, adding the attempt to poison President Yayi occurred on Oct 17 while he was visiting Brussels.

Mr Gbenameto said Mr Moudjaidou is believed to have brought the poison into the country, where he gave it to Dr Cisse to be switched with his regular medication. Ms Kora was meant to have administered it, but the plot was discovered after she told a family member about the plan, he said.