Home News Ex S’Leone President to Arrive Nigeria on Political Asylum Over Allegations of Foiled Coup D’etat
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Ex S’Leone President to Arrive Nigeria on Political Asylum Over Allegations of Foiled Coup D’etat

Found culpable of treason over allegations of allegedly masterminding a failed coup d’etat to overthrow the current government in November, a former President of Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma, was granted temporary political asylum in Nigeria and is said to arrive in Abuja on Thursday. This was contained in a statement signed by Omar Touray, the ECOWAS Commission President, on Tuesday.

On November 26, 2023, armed attackers invaded a military armoury, two barracks, two prisons, and two police stations in Sierra Leone. During this event, approximately 2,200 inmates were liberated, and at least 20 lost their lives.

Subsequent investigations revealed the involvement of the former president’s security team in orchestrating the assault. The government has classified this incident as a foiled coup attempt and charged the ex-president with treason and three other offences, including misprision and two counts of harbouring, assigned in a public notice by Chernor Bah, Sierra Leonean Minister of Information and Civic Education, on Wednesday, January 3, 2024.

According to Sierra Leone’s penal code, treason is a crime punishable by life imprisonment.  

In an attempt to shield the former president from possible imprisonment, ECOWAS managed to secure political asylum for the former President in Nigeria, allowing him to stay for an indefinite period.

According to Touray, the relocation of Koroma was part of the consensus achieved during the mission to Freetown on December 23, 2023, undertaken by the high-level ECOWAS delegation headed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Macky Sall of Senegal.

The statement partly read:

“I am pleased to inform Your Excellency that as part of the agreement reached during the mission, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has offered to host His Excellency Ernest Bal Horoma, Former President of Sierra Leone, in Abuja temporarily.”

The statement also stated that the ex-president had accepted the offer to be hosted in Nigeria and would arrive in the country along with his aides—his manager and personal assistant.

This agreement ensures all legal charges against the former president are dropped while the government also ensures his continued benefits as a former President.

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