Friday, May 22, 2009


Former Minister, Constitutional Judge dies in Benin

A former Beninese Minister and current member of the Constitutional Court, Robert Tagnon, died on Sunday, May 17, 2009, of a protracted illness.

Alfred Cossi Chodaton

Robert Tagnon died at the National University Hospital Center (CNHU) Hubert Maga Koutoukou in Cotonou.

While he was waiting to undergo a surgery over peritonitis in the evening this Sunday, Robert Tagnon died around 7 P.M. His death reduces the number of Constitutional Judges from seven to six. In fact, it is as a personality with professional renown, a status provided by the Constitution, that he used to sit in the high Court on behalf of the Government.

In case like this one, as required by the organic law of the high court in its article 13, the vacuum caused by his death will be filled with a successor within fifteen days.

The deceased was minister in the government of President Emile Derlin Zinsou in 1968. Under the revolutionary regime, he had been jailed with a certain Saka Fikar for many years.

At the Conference of the Active Forces of the Nation in February 1990, his civil rights were restored thanks to a general pardon. He became Minister in charge of Planning in President Nicéphore Dieudonné Soglo’s government, as Soglo was the first president elected after the start of the democratic era.

In February 2002, he responded to a call from Bruno Amoussou, Minister of State in Kérékou government, as chargé de mission although he was an opposition member. Afterwards, he has returned to anonymity until his appointment, by President Yayi Boni as Constitutional Judge.

Therefore, he used to sit as the six other members of the Court, Robert Dossou, Théodore Holo, Clémence Gnimbéré Dansou, Ali Zime Yerima, Marcelline Gbêha, and Bernard Dégboé after he swore in on the late June 6. He died at the age of 74.

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