Court grants permission for former president Koroma to leave the country on medical grounds

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 January 2024:

The High Court in Freetown presided by Justice Taylor has granted bail to former President Koroma of Sierra Leone, who his doctors say needs medical treatment outside of the country. The 70-year-old former President will be travelling to Nigeria in the coming days.

Koroma was due in court today to answer to charges of involvement in an alleged plot to overthrow the government of Sierra Leone, a claim his lawyers have strongly denied.

Speaking to Aljazera after the court decision today, Sierra Leone’s information minister Chernor Bah, said that the court’s decision to grant bail to the former President is consistent with the government’s determination to allow the rule of law to take its course.

He also said that the treason trial will continue in Koroma’s absence as there are other accused persons who have been charged with treason and are appearing in court.

The charges against former President Koroma he said, will remain open until such time that he returns to Sierra Leone. The trial is expected to resume in March 2024.

President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu has agreed to allow the former President to stay in Nigeria for as long as is necessary.

Koroma has been serving house arrest since he was detained in November 2023, following what the government say was an attempted coup on 26th November 2023, when several shots were fired at various locations in the capital Freetown, including the military ammunition store at Wilberforce as well as the breaking of prison cells which saw thousands of escaped prisoners, many of whom have since returned to their cells.

Since his arrest and detention, sources close to the former President have been telling the Sierra Leone Telegraph about his poor health condition, which was yesterday confirmed in a comprehensive medical examination report seen by the Sierra Leone Telegraph.

Leaders of the West African regional block – ECOWAS and the leadership of the main opposition APC, of which President Koroma is its former chairman and leader, had privately called on President Julius Maada Bio to allow the former president to leave the country.

Sierra Leone remains tense, following general and presidential elections which were held in June 2023, the results of which international election observers have described as lacking transparency and integrity.

The main opposition APC say that the elections were rigged to favour President Bio, who is now serving his second and final term in office.

After months of political impasse, the Commonwealth, the African Union and other international partners in the country brokered a peace accord between the government and the APC, with strict terms and conditions, including a review of the country’s elections machinery, systems, processes and laws, and the release of all political prisoners, many of whom APC supporters say have been secretly killed by security forces and ruling party agents.


  1. Some Nigerian opposition supporters do not know that they have one of the smartest president in Bola Tinubu.

    President Koroma is off the hooks thanks to the friendship between his paternal cousin Dr.Richard Konteh and president Tinubu. In 2014 Richard Konteh convinced president Koroma to give then former Governor of Lagos a honourary Doctorate Degree at Njala University College. This was done Then former Governor Tinubu travelled to Freetown in February 2014 and he was guest of President Koroma and Richard Konteh. He left with not only a doctorate degree but a lucrative oil exploration deal in one of the oil blocks in Sierra Leone. It is said that both former president Koroma and Dr. Richard Konteh have shares in that company. President Bio had recently reallocated that same oil block to another Nigerian billionaire lady who is also related to president Tinubu.

    Since it became apparent that former President Koroma was implicated in the 26 November 2023 coup, Dr. Richard Konteh asked President Tinubu to help get former president Koroma out of the country. President Tinubu cannot be seen to be at the front and so he had used ECOWAS to do his bidding whilst he is behind the scene pulling the strings. What a smart move.
    It is hope that he will be able to control Koroma to not use his freedom to continue fermenting trouble back home. It is also hoped that some progressive would take this opportunity to take control of the mighty APC away from the strangle that Koroma had placed over the party since 2002.
    President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a force to reckon with although many in Nigeria seems to underrate him.

  2. This decision was inevitable due to a deal that had been agreed but to look like the Government was not interfering with the rule of law the decision had to come from the Courts.
    SLPP supporters who are not happy must realise that this is high level politics and arm twisting which is way above them. President Bio was fully aware and agreed to this failing which he will not have protection in future from ECOWAS if he is in the same situation.
    The former President has friends in high places within the sub region who will not allow him to go down this way.
    As far as we know the case against the former President has collapsed and will not be found guilty of any crime.

  3. This is a face – saver for the Government. Let us refresh our minds about that leaked letter from ECOWAS highlighting a verbal agreement between President Bio and the high – powered mission (comprising two Presidents from Ghana and Senegal) during a close – door meeting at State House on December 23rd last year.
    In the said letter, no mention was made about the former President requiring medical treatment. Now, though, the Government wants to save face by giving a reason for the travel.

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