Freetown, Dec 9 (EFE) – Former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma testified Saturday for the second day in a row before police in connection with the Nov. 26 coup attempt.
After the interview, he was allowed to return to his home on bail, but was not permitted to leave it until Monday, when his questioning will continue.
Information Minister Chernor Bah said on his account on the social networking site X (formerly Twitter) that the former president “has been granted bail on self recognizance and with the condition that he stays in the confines of his property at Goderich,” an upper-class neighborhood of the capital Freetown, and that his visits would be limited to “3 (guests) from his family and 3 from his party.”
Koroma’s lead lawyer, Joseph Fitzerald Kamara, said in a statement that the former president, who ruled the country from 2007 to 2018, was not under house arrest and that the heavy security presence around his residence was to further ensure his protection.
On November 26, gunmen attacked Wilberforce Barracks, the main barracks of the Sierra Leone Army, in what the government described as a “failed attempted coup” to “illegally subvert and overthrow a democratically elected government.”
In addition, several prisons in the capital were attacked and inmates were released in a riot that left 16 soldiers, a police officer, a prison officer, a civilian working for a private security company, and three attackers dead.
The incident was condemned by the European Union, the United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the United States and the United Kingdom, among others.
Elections held on June 24 were contested by the opposition, but Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio won a second term in office with 56.17% of the vote.
However, his main rival, opposition leader Samura Kamara, supported the government’s response to the coup attempt.
In the last three years, Africa has seen successful coups in Gabon, Niger, Mali, Guinea-Conakry, Sudan and Burkina Faso. EFE