The Brenthurst Foundation has expressed concern about the ongoing questioning of former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with the November 26th attempted coup.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Foundation called on the government of Sierra Leone to reconsider its approach and instead enlist Koroma’s assistance in strengthening democracy in the country and the region.

The Foundation noted that Koroma is a well-respected defender of democracy and a member of its Advisory Board. It highlighted his exemplary record of peacefully handing over power to his opponents and his leadership of election-observation missions across Africa.

“But we are equally concerned that the authorities should not seek to further destabilise the country by engaging in a witchhunt, which is what is taking place with the summoning of former president Koroma by the police.” the statement said. Instead of subjecting him to questioning, The Brenthurst Foundation urge the government to tap into his expertise and experience to help strengthen democracy in Sierra Leone and the region.

The Foundation’s statement comes amid growing criticism of the government’s handling of the coup attempt. Some observers have accused the government of using the incident as an excuse to crack down on dissent and silence critics.

The Brenthurst Foundation’s call for a reconsideration of Koroma’s investigation is likely to add to the pressure on the government to change course. The Foundation is a respected organization with a strong track record of supporting democratic development in Africa.

The government has yet to respond to the Foundation’s statement. However, it is likely to face a difficult task in balancing the need to investigate the coup attempt with the need to avoid further destabilizing the country.