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Koroma’s ‘house arrest’ and Sierra Leone’s  failed coup

Former Sierra Leonean President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, has been placed under “House Arrest” by the country’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

The house arrest was announced on Friday, Dec. 8, 2023, on the official Facebook page of Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Information and Civic Education (MICE), 

It follows a failed coup in the small West African nation on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023 – with reports of fatal consequences.

Dr Koroma is under investigation for a role he may have played in the violent incidents, which led to the loss of some 21 lives – according to security updates. 

In his second nationwide speech via the State Broadcaster, after the Nov. 26 attempted coup incident in the country’s capital, the president, Dr. Julius Maada Wonie Bio, said: 

“…Let all be rest assured that we will follow the evidence wherever it leads, and all those found culpable, no matter their status, shall be held fully to account for their actions within the confines of the law whilst at the same time also recognising the wider demands of justice and freedom.”

Former President Koroma was invited to report to CID 

Dr Ernest Bai Koroma was invited to report at the CID’s Headquarters in Freetown within 24 hours and has since complied with the order. 

As the interrogation of the former president and the police continued, Dr Koroma vehemently urged his supporters, as well as Sierra Leoneans, to remain calm and peaceful, while he remained committed to assisting the police in the crucial investigation.

He has also indicated his utmost willingness and cooperation to help with the police investigations and has commended the police for a “free and fair investigation process.”

Response to CID’s invitation to Dr Koroma

The Office of the former President of Sierra Leone – Dr  Ernest Bai Koroma, informed the public of CID’s invitation to Koroma on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023.

In responding to the invitation letter by the country’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) William Fayia Sellu, the embattled ex-president, noted: “I maintain an open mind and stand ready to support the police investigations to the fullest. Let the rule of law reign supreme in our democracy.”

MICE clarifies ‘invite’ of former President Koroma to report to CID

Confirming the viral news regarding the house arrest of the former president of Sierra Leone  Dr Koroma via its official Facebook page said Mr Fayia Sellu was invited to report to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for questioning on his alleged involvement in the coup, which left over a dozen dead and many injured. 

Freetownians reaction concerning the former president’s invitation 

Opinions are varied among the people of Freetown regarding CID’s, invitation to the All People’s Congress (APC) party’s immediate Chairman and Leader.

Wilfred Barming, a resident of Freetown, told DUBAWA that CID’s decision to invite the former president for questioning is a good step in the right direction. He stated further: “No one should be above the law; rather, the law should be above all people.”

He, however, noted that if he had gotten the opportunity to talk to the CID, he would have advised them not to bring the former president down to Freetown due to the gullible nature of the State and the citizens. 

“For me, the government should have just forgotten about the failed coup incident and focused on developing the country. Inviting the former president to come down to Freetown for questioning regarding the failed coup will not give birth to a good baby in the end,” – Kadiatu Sesay – a businesswoman in Freetown, told DUBAWA.

She added that if only she could talk to the government, she would ask them to let go of everything that has happened. 

DUBAWA solicits the view of the ruling SLPP Councillor in Freetown 

Asked about CID’s decision to invite the ex-president for questioning in Freetown, Councillor Abdulai S. Conteh (aka Councillor Torres) of ruling Sierra Leone’s People’s Party (SLPP), told DUBAWA that the CID’s decision to invite ex-President Koroma for questioning in Freetown was a good step. 

Councillor Torres added that, for him, the required security details for adequate protection for an individual of the calibre of the country’s former president can only be provided in Freetown, unlike his Makeni abode. 

Opposition’s perspective 

“Well, for me as a staunch APCian, I am vehemently in support of CID’s decision to invite the former president for questioning. But, what the CID and the government should have considered is the current security situation in the country and bringing such a man of calibre like former President Koroma is a cause for concern to the state. However, I hope and pray that everything goes on peacefully and successfully,” a former Councillor in Freetown under the main opposition – All People’s Congress (APC), Alimamy Bangura, told DUBAWA. 

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