Sierra Leone’s former President Koroma denies all allegations of involvement in corruption

Ernest Bai Koroma: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 5 July 2018:

I am currently out of the country on vacation but my attention has been drawn to a 136-page Report entitled as “Report of the Governance Transition Team 2018” which was issued to the public on yesterday’s date of July 4th 2018 by the Office of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

I have also taken note of very serious allegations of corruption and other nefarious practices that I have been directly accused of within this said Report.

Furthermore, I have taken note of the statements of H.E. Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the current President whilst he referenced the contents of the Report.

Media coverage of the contents of this Report; particularly over the BBC by the BBC correspondent in Sierra Leone has also been noted by me.

I wish to now categorically state, with no hesitation, that all the allegations of corruption and other negative practises levied against my person in that Report are complete nonsense.

There is not even an iota of credibility to them. In other words, the allegations are maliciously contrived up to smear my image. (Photo: Former president Koroma).

I am particularly disturbed at the extent of the EGREGIOUS LIES in the Report with respect to the sale of Sierra Rutile.

I was not involved, nor have I ever benefited anything from such. It is mind-boggling to read and hear the way I have been smeared over what is absolutely untrue.

The motivation behind the malice within that Report against me as a person and specifically targeting the All Peoples Congress (APC) party which I lead, is pretty much obvious.

The motive is for the APC to lose political capital to the benefit of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party of President Bio. Hiding behind the cover of the presidency to undermine multi-party democracy is unforgivable.

I have handed over the 136-page Report to my Legal Team for advice including on how I may seek redress for the deliberate and malicious damage to my reputation both locally and internationally.

I want to end by thanking Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone who have been reaching out to express sympathies and concerns over the unfolding developments against my person by the new Government of H.E. Bio. I ask all to stay calm.

I have a lot of confidence that Sierra Leoneans will come together and use this unfortunate saga as an opportunity to showcase the maturity of our democratic credentials, the sustainability of our peace, the importance of a genuine fight against corruption and the inviolability of our rights and freedoms.

This is an initial reaction which I am personally signing. Further information will be communicated when necessary through my Office and/or through the APC party channels. I will also communicate to the public immediately upon my return at the end of my much-deserved, ongoing vacation.

Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, 
Former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
July 5th 2018

 

12 Comments

  1. The GTT report conducted came to its conclusions based on the evidence at the time. They are not a court and therefore cannot find anyone guilty of anything.

    Instead of people jumping to conclusions, those involved in the report will have the opportunity to defend themselves when a commission of enquiry is set up or in a court of competent jurisdiction.

    All these rebuttals are a bit premature and a distraction. What they should be doing is putting their evidence together and they will have their day in court; but no amount of language used denying responsibility for everything will prevent this matter from being thoroughly investigated.

    As the President said, a line has to be drawn and the people support him in this drive to end the impunity of corruption in Sierra Leone.

  2. Let them respond to the allegations; denying the report in its entirety does not make sense. We are all aware of the rate of corruption by the outgone regime.

    Emerson’s ‘munku boss pa matches’ is a testimony to this assertion. EBK needs to tell us about the 30% national shares at Sierra Rutile he inherited from Pa. Kabbah of blessed memory and which he sold in 2012.

    Let him tell us about the sale of Government of Sierra Leone quarters, land, the writing off of loans, the Bus gate, the Haja gate and many others.

    The allegations in the report are not in any way different from the Auditor General’s report. The GTT report would have questioned their credibility and integrity should their findings have been in any way different from the numerous audit reports by the dynamic and selfless Madam Taylor-Pearce.

  3. O mother Sierra Leone, thou art mighty yet,thy spirit walks the homes of those who have harmed thee the most to inflict insomnia on them. A little Shakespearean to set the course. In Julius Caesar Brutus could sense that the ghost of Caesar was an invisible force against him in the battle against Mark Anthony.

    This forced him to utter these words as the end approached, having seen the ghost of Caesar twice: “O Julius Caesar, thou art mighty yet, Thy spirit walks abroad, and turns our swords in own proper entrails” [ William Shakespeare]

    The truth is mother Sierra Leone is not dead but very much alive, even though, according to the transition report, Ernest Koroma and his crowd tried to kill her. They probably even thought she was dead, but in reality she only passed out for a little while.

    Now a handful of her grateful children have risen to strike a blow on her behalf which is causing sleeplessness in many quarters. Rumours even have it that some of those listed for investigation have shown their heels.

    The nation now awaits to see what President Bio is really made of as he has described the report as a “threat to national security” vis-a-vis the malicious corruption which occurred in the Koroma years.

    History has gone full circle – the distinction this time seems to be a raw determination to bring some people to book,the ripple effects of which will assume perpetual characteristics.

    When age caught up with Siaka Stevens he knew that the majority of the people had a noose ready for him; he avoided it by the skin of his teeth by hand-picking Momoh to succeed him. Ernest Koroma tried to do the same thing with Samura Kamara – only this time the world had changed.

    It is now the world of saturated social media and all of us half baked journalists rubbed it on APC; they were battered at every turn. The noose which Sheki avoided now hangs over Ernest and his family of sycophantic friends who benefited from running the country “like a business”[Ernest Koroma].

    Rise up J.M. Bio and choke those on the corruption list until they regurgitate everything. We stand ready to help you wash and take it down to the Treasury.

  4. We voted APC out because of corruption,regional selfishness and greed – you name it. The public will not stand by you. We were not with you so we not going to be there with you. You have to go and answer to all the things you have done.

    Ex-president who was once rich like me is now rich like those. This is no malice or witch hunt. It is time for politicians to start giving account of their time in office. After all, this gives hope that the next government will do the same to the ones in power now, so that politicians can stop stealing the country’s wealth and leaving the people to die.

  5. It is an excellent idea to bring to book those people who are bent on destroying our country. Corruption has been a normal way of things in the country since independence and if there is a genuine start to tackling it, every patriotic Sierra Leonean should be upbeat. But my fear is the APC/SLPP politics.

    The fact that JFK and Ade Macauley who were the first to react, have already started casting a shadow of doubt on the integrity on the report. We should not hasten to conclude and if independent commissioners are to be identified, some of us will prefer international commissioners for total independence, since we are well aware about the political games of the two political parties in question.

    • My brother, what do you expect them to say? Accepting the findings of the report will be an indictment to them also and an attack on their competence to carry out their duties at ACC, thus exposing their misconduct and incompetence.

      But what is clear in the report, is that it lays bare the corrupt practices of the Koroma (EBK) led APC. The report is in no way different from the numerous corrupt findings of the Auditor General’s reports in the past years.

      These are issues Sierra Leoneans are aware of; people have now started posting their assets around the country; these are all unexplained wealth.

      EBK cannot deny the bus issue; it was a popular topic of discussion. Mr. Balogun Logus Koroma in his defense of the cost of the buses, stated that the cost included spare parts and a mobile garage that we never saw.

      When questioned were asked on this topic sometime ago on Radio 98.1, he asked the caller to go to the Police. EBK cannot deny the sale of the national shares at Sierra Rutile and the government quarters to APC Politicians when he was President of Sierra Leone.

      Can EBK also deny the writing off bank loans to APC party stalwarts? Is FJK also denying the NaSSIT Ferry issue? Let us say for argument’s sake that the report is untrue – but let them tell us about these issues I have listed above.

      We all witnessed when EBK was travelling upcountry, he did so with a vault (a whole Toyota Hilux full with cash). People used to describe his drawers on his office desk at State House; visitors wanted him to always ‘dock’ his hand into the right drawer, which was believed to carry foreign currency; the left was holding Leone currency.

      Too bad that they had to deny these allegations man; they messed up completely. The country was run as a Koroma Dynasty for Old Boys from Magburaka Boys Secondary School and the Koroma family.

  6. The credible, decent, and appropriate thing for ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma to do is to stop spending looted public money on a lavish vacation and return to Sierra Leone.

    I bet that is the last thing on Koroma’s mind. He will never return to Sierra Leone. The guilty are afraid.

  7. The credible, decent, and appropriate thing for ex-President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma to do is to assemble an excellent team of lawyers, then sue the current government appropriately for defamation of character and libel etc.
    Today, all the judges are your carefully selected appointees……………
    I am waiting!

  8. I would be flabbergasted if any world head of state will admit to corruption, let alone ex-president Bai Koroma. He should go on the Jeremy Kyle show and take a lie detector test.

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