Sued by the Minister of Tourism, Ousmane Sonko told the police that he had committed a slip of the tongue, but could not produce evidence. However, a conviction in this case could cost him his chances of running for the presidency of the Republic.
Beware of the law of major annoyance! The French lend to the former President of the Republic, Jacques Chirac, the saying that « shit always flies in a squadron! » This is what is likely to happen soon to the leader of the Pastef party, Ousmane Sonko. We know that there are chances that the politician will find himself at the bar of the Criminal Court on February 2, following a defamation complaint served to him by Minister Mame Mbaye Niang.
During one of his statements, the leader of the Pastef party had revealed that Mame Mbaye Niang, during his stint at the Ministry of Youth, was implicated in the embezzlement of 29 billion from Prodac, by a report from the General State Inspectorate. Following which, the person concerned replied that no report from IGE had ever pinned him down and that he would sue Ousmane Sonko for defamation, which he did not waste time doing.
Heard by the Criminal Investigations Division (Dic), Ousmane Sonko sought to retract, declaring that it was a slip, instead wanting to speak of a “report of the IGF (General Inspectorate of Finance)”. When the investigators asked him to show the said report, Mr. Sonko replied that he preferred to keep his evidence for the Tribunal.
However, Le Quotidien has learned that on leaving the premises of the investigations police, Ousmane Sonko hastened to write to the IGF requesting that the famous report on Prodac be sent to him. To our knowledge, until yesterday evening, he had not yet received an answer to his request. This means that what, at the start, was a very trivial case of defamation, could turn out to have very serious consequences for the politician. He should pray to all the saints and all the “pangols” that the public prosecutor leaves his slip and does not ram it.
Le Quotidien remembers when Madiambal Diagne, who had accused Judge Téliko, as having been pinned by an African Union report, made a slip of the tongue when speaking of « the European Union ». At the bar, Mr. Diagne had exhibited the said report and made amends for his slip. This was not enough to save him and he was convicted at the first instance.
If the same treatment were applied to him, especially since he will not have the document that supports his accusation, Ousmane Sonko would then risk a minimum of 6 months in prison. This prospect is already beginning to worry his allies and supporters, who understand that there would be a risk to the eligibility of the declared candidate for the presidency of the Republic. This is so true that Le Quotidien has learned that one of Ousmane Sonko‘s lawyers did not hesitate to publicly take to task one of his colleagues, counsel of Mame Mbaye Niang, accusing him of « playing the hands of the Powers that be, to convict Ousmane Sonko and thus deprive him of his eligibility ». This lawyer deliberately wanted to ignore that even Minister Mame Mbaye Niang has a right to be defended.
In reality, what he fears most is that his client will be convicted even at the first instance, that the latter will be followed by others. Because several defamation complaints would hover over the head of Ousmane Sonko. At the top of which, that of his favourite, Mamour Diallo. Accused in the case of the 94 billion, the former director of Domains and new director of Onas was able to obtain a final judgment of the Supreme Court which clears him of this accusation of embezzlement. Armed with this, he intends to turn soon against his « enemy » and serve him a direct citation for defamation and dissemination of false news. Not to mention another person cited as part of the « plot » against the former deputy of the Pastef party, in the Adji Sarr case, the lawyer Dior Diagne, who also intends to have her honour cleared before the Justice. If all these cases were cumulative and led to his conviction, it is difficult to imagine that cumulative sentences would not lead to a situation of ineligibility for the leader of the Pastef party. And this, without the Adji Sarrcase not yet judged!
Is this why the networks of supporters of the Pastef party are already starting to break and call for the final struggle? At the same time, within this party, voices are already raised calling for the preparation of a « B candidacy » for the Presidential election, in case « Ousmane mu sell mi« * is prevented from running…
*« Ousmane Mu Sell Mi » : « Ousmane the Saint » as his supporters name him.
By Mohamed GUEYE / email@example.com
- Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH / Serigne S. DIAGNE