Senegal Leader Accused of Rape, Ousmane Sonko drove in a convoy with hi his supporters to appear before a judge, on Wednesday.
Controversy has dogged Sonko since last month, when Senegalese media reported that an employee at a salon where he went to get massages filed rape charges against him.
The leader of the opposition Pastef party has denied the charges and accused the president of conspiring to remove him ahead of 2024 elections.
The 46-year-old challenged President Macky Sall in the 2019 election,
Eventually finishing third in a race that delivered the incumbent a second term.
Last week, Senegal’s parliament voted to strip Sonko of his immunity, paving the way for an investigation of the rape charge.
Senegal Leader Accused of Rape headed to the court in a motorcade followed by several hundred supporters
Blaring car horns, singing traditional songs in solidarity with their leader, of course reassuring him of their loyalty by action.
The support from members of his team however left the people in the street of Senegal at awe
Police were also out in force in the city, setting up roadblocks along the road leading to the court that summoned Sonko
“We are here for President Ousmane Sonko,” said one supporter, who declined to be named. “If they touch him, we will then retaliate
The rape allegation against Sonko comes as uncertainty grows over whether Sall, 59, will seek a third term.
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Presidents in the former French colony of about 16 million people have limits of two consecutive terms
Sall launched a constitutional review in 2016, raising suspicions he intends to run again.
Other presidents in West Africa —
such as Guinea’s Alpha Conde or Ivory Coast’s Alassane Ouattara — have used constitutional changes to win third terms.