Retired Sierra Leone leader risks abuse of office charges

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Former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma risks prosecution following revelations of massive corruption and abuse of office under his watch.

The Government Transition Team report on the state of Sierra Leone’s economy called for a commission of inquiry and possible prosecution of the perpetrators of abuse of office during Koroma’s 10-year reign.

The 12-man committee head by Prof David Francis, who is now Chief Minister in the cabinet, was tasked with taking stock of the state of the country under the last regime

According to Prof Francis this findings reveal an “astonishing level of fiscal indiscipline and rampant corruption” by the former administration which led to the near-collapse of the country’s economy

The 124 page report also accuses the former president of presiding over a tribal and regionally biased regime, which plundered the West African country under a ‘criminally masterminded’ scheme.

Awarding of fake and inflated contracts and the illegal sale of government assets, were identified as the hallmark of the Koroma regime.

Koroma is further blamed for the failure of the economy as manifested in the huge debt he left and a failing local currency.

The Transition Team was constituted by President Julius Maada Bio, just two days after he was sworn into office following his landmark election victory last March against Koroma’s All Peoples Congress (APC).

The report was officially presented to President Bio last week, before being presented to the general public via a press conference hosted by the Chief Minister. Some of the former officials named in the report were already out of the country.

It offers a series of recommendations, notably an immediate special audit of all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to establish how public assets and funds were utilized by the former government.

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