Thursday, April 18, 2024

Sierra Leone: Ex-leader Koroma travels to Nigeria for medical care

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

A court in Sierra Leone on Friday allowed the former president Ernest Bai Koroma to travel to Nigeria for medical care.

He left by plane flying to Nigeria on Friday after the court permit amid charges for his alleged role in a failed military coup attempt.

Koroma is facing four offences including treason for his alleged role in the incident which occurred last November.

The charges also include misprision of treason and two counts of harbouring.

Twelve others were also charged with treason for the failed coup attempt that took place on November 26, 2023.

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During the incident gunmen attacked a military barracks, a prison and other locations in the country.

They freed about 2,200 inmates and killed more than 20 people including 13 soldiers, according to the government.

The 70-year-old former president was permitted to travel despite facing indictment that has stoked domestic tensions.

Koroma’s lawyers have called the charges “trumped up” and part of a political vendetta.

The ex-president arrived in Nigeria’s capital Abuja on Friday, greeted by Nigerian officials and the president of West Africa’s political and economic bloc ECOWAS.

In a statement ECOWAS thanked the Sierra Leonean government for allowing Koroma to travel out for medical care.

There have been speculations that the ECOWAS Commission has been brokering a deal to have the former president leave Sierra Leone before even charges against him were announced.

Koroma led Sierra Leone for 11 years until 2018 and was succeeded by current President Julius Maada Bio.

He is expected to be away for three months per the permission granted by the High Court as he awaits his treason trial scheduled for March.

Sierra Leone: Ex-president Koroma, 12 others charged over failed coup


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