By Amin Kef (Ranger)
In a remarkable turn of events, Sierra Leone police Inspector General William Fayia Sellu, has officially declared former president Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma a suspect in a failed coup plot. Sellu made the announcement during a press conference at the Ministry of Information and Civic Education on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.
In an unexpected twist, Koroma’s daughter, Madam Danke Koroma, currently residing in London, was also labelled a wanted suspect in the alleged plot. According to Inspector General Sellu, she is among the 80 individuals presently under investigation.
The investigation encompasses an extensive array of individuals, including 50 currently serving military officers, 5 dismissed military officers, 7 active Sierra Leone Police personnel, 1 retired senior police officer, 15 civilians, 1 Correctional Service personnel, and the former President. Except for Koroma, who is under strict house arrest due to his former presidential status, all other suspects are currently detained at the Criminal Investigations Department in Freetown.
In addition to the detained suspects, Sellu revealed that all serving personnel implicated in the alleged coup have been dismissed and are now awaiting criminal prosecution. He also indicated that 68 out of the current 80 suspects had given statements, which have been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General given the substantial evidence obtained so far.
In response to queries regarding the timeline for Koroma’s investigation, Sellu stated, “The investigation of former President Koroma will last as long as they get to the end of the investigation, which might take one or two weeks, as the case might be.”
As for the remaining 12 suspects, they are yet to be interrogated, cautioned, and interviewed. The police force is offering a cash reward of Le 50,000,000 (Fifty Million Old Leone) for useful information leading to the arrest of remaining assailants.
The Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chenor Bah, expressed gratitude to the public for their continued cooperation and urged all to prioritize the country’s interests. Despite public curiosity about the ongoing investigation and the timeline for prosecution, the police have been praised for maintaining the confidentiality of the process.