• December 11, 2023

Former Pres. Koroma to pay US$135,000 to Govt. -Appeal Court Ruling

Former Pres. Koroma to pay US$135,000 to Govt. -Appeal Court Ruling
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By Alusine Fullah

The Sierra Leone’s Court of Appeal in Freetown, on December 7th, 2023 affirmed the findings of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) report against former President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and his ex-Finance Minister, Dr. Samura Kamara and court delivered a final judgment with substantial penalties on Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and Dr. Samura Kamara.

The COI, initiated by President Julius Maada Bio in 2018, focused on scrutinizing the activities of past government officials, particularly the eleven years of the All People’s Congress administration. The Commissioners—Justice Biobele Georgewill, the late Justice Bankole Thomposn, and Justice William Annan Atuguba—presented their findings, implicating certain officials, including former President Koroma and some ministers.

Challenging the findings after the government’s White Paper release, the former officials sought redress at the Court of Appeal. Despite their appeals, the Court upheld the Commissioners’ decision concerning Former Presidents Koroma and Samura Kamara’s COI applications related to the Sewa Ground Market and the Sierra Rutile saga, respectively.During the court hearing, a directive was also issued for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate Former President Koroma for alleged abuse of office and executive authority, specifically related to the Sewa Ground Market Project with the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT). Likewise, Dr. Samura Kamara was under investigation concerning the Sierra Rutile Company dealings.

The court rejection of all four grounds of the COI appeal marked a setback for the duo, with the Presiding Judges Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens, Justice Adrian Fisher, and Justice Ivan Sesay dismissing their applications.

Former President Koroma, represented by Lawyers Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, Africanus Sorie Sesay, and Brima Koroma, faced an adverse judgment. The Court has delivered a final judgment by directed the former president Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma to pay $135,000 to the Government of Sierra Leone within seven days, along with bearing the cost of Le300 million (old Leones). Similarly, Dr. Samura Kamara, presently the leader of the APC, was directed to pay $75,000 and bear a cost of Le250 million (Old Leones).

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