Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko found guilty for "corrupting youth."
Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko found guilty for "corrupting youth."

Senegalese opposition leader Ousmane Sonko found guilty for “corrupting youth.”

Ousmane Sonko, the leader of the opposition in Senegal, was found ‘not guilty’ of rape but was sentenced to two years in prison for “corrupting youth”.

According to the ruling, he was deemed to have acted immorally against a person under the age of 21. The accusations were the result of complaints made by a massage therapist. He asserted that the case was intended to thwart his presidential aspirations and denied any misconduct. 

His supporters have raised havoc with the decision. They are said to have fought with policemen in Dakar, the country’s capital. Sonko, who abstained from the trial, is still at his residence in the city.

Abdy Nar Ndiaye, one of his attorneys, opined that the judge’s failure to order the 48-year-old politician’s immediate arrest was strange. This indicates that their goal is to prevent Sonko from running in the upcoming elections, he stated.

This coincides with a rising political paradigm shift around the continent of Africa, with young people becoming actively conscious of state affairs. The opposition leader, Sonko, 48, has been accused of having political motivations, but the government has dismissed these claims.

Sonko was charged with threatening and sexually assaulting a massage therapist in a beauty parlour in 2021. She made the claims when she was 20; he refuted them.

He said that the case against him was politically driven and that he went to the salon for a massage because he had chronic back pain.

Ndeye Khady Ndiaye, the salon’s proprietor, was also found guilty of “corrupting youth” and given a two-year prison sentence by the judge.

Sonko, who is particularly well-liked by young people and unemployment, has experienced a rapid climb to political prominence in recent years.

He participated in the 2019 presidential race and finished third.

President Macky Sall of Senegal, is accused by Sonko of ploting to serve an unconstitutional third term.

Although the president has not yet made a decision, he has invited the opposition parties to meetings this week as political unrest spreads across the nation. Sonko’s party declined the invitation.