Court of Appeal Judges, Hon. Justice Ivan Sesay, presiding, Hon. Justice Alhaji Momoh-Jah Stevens, and Hon. Justice Adrian Fisher have ordered the former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma to pay the sum of USD 135,000.00 to the state for causing financial losses during his tenure.

This came after the court upheld the investigative decision of the country’s Commission of Inquiry (COI), which was tasked with scrutinizing the activities of past government officials.

The COI was established in 2018 by President Julius Maada Bio to investigate allegations of corruption and mismanagement under the previous All People’s Congress (APC) administration, which ruled Sierra Leone from 2007 to 2018. The COI’s findings implicated several high-level officials, including Koroma and several of his former ministers.

After the government released a White Paper summarizing the COI’s findings, several former officials, including Koroma, challenged the report in court.

In the case of Koroma, the Court of Appeal upheld the COI’s finding that he abused his office and executive authority in relation to the Sewa Ground Market Project, a government-sponsored project to redevelop a market in Freetown. The Court ordered Koroma to pay USD 135,000 to the state and to bear the cost of three hundred million old Leones.

The Court also directed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate Former President Koroma for abuse of office and executive authority.

Representing the Appellants were Lawyers Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, Africanus Sorie Sesay, and Brima Koroma, while Abigail Suwu Kendor and two other counsels represented the State.