Sierra Leone anti-graft body seeks to quiz ex-president

Former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Photo credit: File | AFP

What you need to know:

  • On Wednesday, the West African state's anti-corruption commission requested to quiz Koroma in person on October 5, the body's spokesman Patrick Sandy said.
  • The justice ministry on Monday banned the ex-president and several other former ministers from leaving the country. 

Sierra Leonean anti-corruption investigators requested to interview ex-president Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday, a spokesman said, after the government pledged to recover funds allegedly embezzled under his watch.

The move follows the end of a year-long graft probe into Koroma and his former ministers in March, which found that funds worth tens of millions of dollars remain unaccounted for. 

Sierra Leone's current president, Julius Maada Bio, pledged this month to claw back any misappropriated funds.

On Wednesday, the West African state's anti-corruption commission requested to quiz Koroma in person on October 5, the body's spokesman Patrick Sandy said.

The justice ministry on Monday banned the ex-president and several other former ministers from leaving the country. 

Koroma did not respond to a request for comment.

Members of the ex-president's All Peoples Congress party have dismissed the corruption probe as a "witch-hunt", however. 

Sierra Leone boasts huge mineral and diamond deposits, but it remains one of the world's poorest nations, still recovering from decades of war and disease. 

Koroma governed the country of some 7.5 million people from 2007 until 2018, when Bio won a presidential election on promises to tackle corruption.  

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