Sierra Leone former vice president Victor Bockarie Foh has been arrested by the Sierra Leone police after an indictment by the Anti-Corruption Commission over an alleged corrupt practice that marred the 2017 pilgrimage of some Sierra Leoneans to Mecca.
Minkailu Mansaray, the former minister of mines who was also head of the Hajj Committee was indicted and arrested.
The former president, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma has also reacted to the public report by the ‘Governance Transition Team 2018’ set up by the Sierra Leone Peoples Party government to look into cases of corrupt practices of the previous government, stating “… all the allegations of corruption and other negative practises levied against my person in that Report are complete nonsense”.
Below is president Koroma’s response to the GTT report.
PUBLIC NOTICE: INITIAL REACTION OF DR. ERNEST BAI KOROMA TO THE REPORT OF THE GOVERNANCE TRANSITION TEAM 2018
I am currently out of the country on vacation but my attention has been drawn to a 136-paged Report entitled as “Report of the Governance Transition Team 2018” which was issued to the public on yesterday’s date of July 4th 2018 by the Office of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
I have also taken note of very serious allegations of corruption and other nefarious practices that I have been directly accused of within this said Report.
Furthermore, I have taken note of the statements of H.E. Dr. Julius Maada Bio, the current President whilst he referenced the contents of the Report.
Media coverage of the contents of this Report; particularly over the BBC by the BBC correspondent in Sierra Leone has also been noted by me.
I wish to now categorically state, with no hesitation, that all the allegations of corruption and other negative practises levied against my person in that Report are complete nonsense. There is not even an iota of credibility to them. In other words, the allegations are maliciously contrived up to smear my image.
I am particularly disturbed at the extent of the EGREGIOUS LIES in the Report with respect to the sale of Sierra Rutile. I was not involved nor have I ever benefited anything from such. It is mind-boggling to read and hear the way I have been smeared over what is absolutely untrue.*
The motivation behind the malice within that Report against me as a person and specifically targeting the All Peoples Congress (APC) party which I lead, is pretty much obvious. The motive is for the APC to lose political capital to the benefit of the ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party of President Bio. Hiding behind the cover of the presidency to undermine multi-party democracy is unforgivable.
I have handed over the 136-paged Report to my Legal Team for advise including on how I may seek redress for the deliberate and malicious damage to my reputation both locally and internationally.
I want to end by thanking Sierra Leoneans and friends of Sierra Leone who have been reaching out to express sympathies and concerns over the unfolding developments against my person by the new Government of H.E. Bio. I ask all to stay calm. I have a lot of confidence that Sierra Leoneans will come together and use this unfortunate saga as an opportunity to showcase the maturity of our democratic credentials, the sustainability of our peace, the importance of a genuine fight against corruption and the inviolability of our rights and freedoms.
This is an initial reaction which I am personally signing. Further information will be communicated when necessary through my Office and/or through the APC party channels. I will also communicate to the public immediately upon my return at the end of my much-deserved, ongoing vacation.
Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
Former President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
July 5th 2018