The Niger military administration claims to have blocked an effort by overthrown former President Mohamed Bazoum to flee.
According to a military spokesman, the former president attempted to depart throughout the night with his family, chefs, and guards.
He claimed that there were intentions for the group to fly away on helicopters, but the plot was thwarted.
Since members of Mr. Bazoum’s presidential guard staged a coup in late July, he has been placed under house arrest.
Situated immediately south of the Sahara Desert, Niger is a part of the African region known as the Sahel, a semiarid landmass that spans from the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Both military regimes and Islamists afflict the region.
On Thursday at approximately 03:00 (02:00 GMT), an attempt at escape was made, according to military spokesman Amadou Abdramane on official television.
“The ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and his family, his two cooks and two security elements, tried to escape from his place of detention,” he said.
The escape attempt was unsuccessful, and “the main actors and some of the accomplices” were apprehended, he continued.
According to Mr Abdramane, the sophisticated plan comprised Mr Bazoum traveling to a location on the outskirts of the city Niamey.
He went on to criticize Mr Bazoum’s “irresponsible attitude” as the group prepared to fly off on helicopters “belonging to a foreign power” towards Nigeria.
It is unclear where the former president and the rest of the group are currently detained. An investigation has already begun.
On July 26, the Niger military deposed the democratically elected president in a coup.
Similar military takeovers occurred in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali, amid an Islamist insurgency and increased Russian influence in the Sahel region through its mercenary company Wagner.
Niger’s junta, like Mali’s, has asked French troops stationed in the nation to help fight militants to leave. According to the French military, the first convoy from Niger landed in neighboring Chad on Thursday following a nine-day journey.
Mr Bazoum has refused to officially resign.
Despite his captivity, he was able to publish an article in The Washington Post stating that he was a hostage and that the coup would have “devastating consequences for our country, our region and the entire world”.
Mr Bazoum’s party and family members say he has had no access to running water, electricity or fresh goods.