Sierra Leone’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has until further notice postponed meeting to interview former President Earnest Bai Koroma today over findings of the Commission of Inquiry (COI).ACC told reporters on Thursday that the former President’s supporters prevented them from accessing his residence in the northern district town of Makeni where the interview was scheduled to take place. However, the All People Congress (APC) party of Mr. Koroma has denied ACC’s accusation of preventing access. APC spokesman, Sidi Yahah Tunis, was quoted saying the former President’s lawyers even suggested to travel with ACC investigators to Makeni to guarantee their security.
Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio whose campaign promises included rooting out corruption inaugurated the COI on January 29, 2019 at the compound of the former Special Court for war crimes located in the west end of Freetown. The COI was meant to probe into the affairs and alleged corruption of the former administration headed by Presient Koroma.
The COI made wide-ranging recommendations including the confiscation of assets belonging to Mr. Koroma, including properties valued at €4.3 million. Moreover, the former President and 120 others who served in his administration have been banned from travelling.
However, President Koroma who ruled Sierra Leone from 2007 to 2018 has in a statement dismissed the COI’s finings as “politically motivated charade calculated to impugn” his hard-earned reputation. He has vowed to clear his name and restore his reputation.
The controversy suggests that Sierra Leoneans are deeply divided over issues such as governance and corruption and is still burdened by a history of insecurity.