Sierra Leone: After Being Declared “Suspect” in a Botched Coup, Court Orders Former President Koroma to Refund State Funds

Former President Koroma ( left ), the Judiciary of Sierra Leone right

Abubakar Hashim/Freetown

The Justice Fatmata Bintu Alhadi -led three- member jury in the Court of Appeal, has dismissed former President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma’s seven grounds appeal against the Commission of Inquiry (COI) rulings.

She mandated the appellant, the former President, to refund the state Le 70 Billion and $ 15 Million, through the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, domiciled at the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, within 30 days.

Giving the judgment at the Appeal Court, Justice Alhadi remarked:“No one, including President, has exemption for misconduct and abuse of public trust while in office”. She further stated, “Former US President Donald Trump is battling with cases against him in court and there was the conviction of former South African President Jacob Zuma”.

The Court of Appeal judgment is the result of findings of the Justice Biobele COI against the former President.

The dismissal of his appeal and order of a refund to the state within 30 days has now added a new twist and has highlighted the already complex and volatile political climate, with the former President’s alleged involvement in a plot to overthrow President Bio on November 26, 2023.

There is still an uneasy calm in the country, with curfew from 12 midnight to 6 am.