Sierra Leone ex-leader Koroma risks arrest over anti-graft body summons snub

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The former president of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma faces an arrest after he failed to honour summons from the country’s anti-corruption commission.

The anti-graft body in Sierra Leone says it is considering issuing an arrest warrant against Mr Koroma to force him to appear before the commission and answer corruption-related charges against him.

However, Ernest Bai Koroma’s lawyers have argued the former president could not travel from his home in the north to the capital Freetown due to safety reasons. They insisted it is not safe for Mr Koroma to travel.

Attempts last month by the Sierra Leonean investigators to question the ex-president was allegedly thwarted and physically prevented by Koroma’s supporters, according to the authorities.

The former president has denied any wrongdoing.

Following a just-concluded inquiry into the alleged gross mismanagement and colossal corruption charges against Koroma’s 11-year presidency, which many believe has taken the country to its abysmal depth, the anti-graft body wants to question the former president on the charges.

With the former president, Koroma barred from leaving the country, it has become increasingly clear to Koroma that he has limited options. 

Former president Ernest Bai Koroma might well claim it is unsafe for him to travel from his house in the north to Freetown, but he needs to convince the Sierra Leoneans that he has nothing to hide. There is hardly a better way to demonstrate this than to answer the questions from the anti-corruption commission. Either in Freetown or at his home.

Photo:worldbank