By Amin Kef (Ranger)
On January 3, 2024, a significant development surfaced in the legal proceedings involving ex-President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, as detailed in a public notice by the Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah. Dr. Koroma faced severe charges, including treason, misprision of treason, and harbouring, stemming from his alleged involvement in the attempted government overthrow on November 26, 2023.
The charges were formally presented before Magistrate Santigie Bangura at Pademba Road’s Magistrate’s Court No.2. Due to jurisdictional constraints, an immediate application for bail was submitted in the High Court on behalf of the former President.
Judge Samuel O. Taylor presided over the bail hearing and ultimately granted bail. However, the court imposed stringent conditions:
1. A maximum of 10 people, comprising his immediate family, legal counsel, and select members of his political party, are permitted at his residence at any given time.
2. Dr. Koroma is strictly prohibited from leaving his house without explicit permission from the Inspector-General of Police.
3. Only the National Chairman and National Deputy Chairman of his political party are allowed to visit him.
4. All visits to his residence must receive prior authorization from the Inspector-General of Police.
5. To secure bail, Dr. Koroma must provide two senior citizen sureties residing in Sierra Leone’s Western Area.
The case adjourned until January 17, 2024, awaiting the state’s preparedness to present its witnesses. Minister Chernor Bah highlighted these developments in the public notice, emphasizing the serious nature of the charges against the former President.