Former President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, will face a minimum of 7 years Jail Sentence if successfully prosecuted based on the findings of the Commission of Inquiry that investigated him and found out that Koroma had received and managed huge sums of money in a dubious manner.

He will be prosecuted under the country’s Money Laundering Law known as the ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND COMBATING OF FINANCING OF TERRORISM ACT, 2012. It was Koroma himself who passed that Act into Law back in February 2012.

The issue of Koroma’s money laundering Crimes with a “Minimum of 7 Years Jail Sentence”, first publicly came up at the Commission Of Inquiry in January 2020.

Few months later, in August 2020, it was referenced by popular female politician and journalist Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden as she explained that the very real threats of such criminal prosecution for issues like Money Laundering, are the reason why Koroma is “such an ineffective and inefficient Opposition Leader”. Dr. Blyden lamented that such likely blackmail of Koroma was hindering and retrogressing Sierra Leone as the Democratic Opposition cannot function.

Earlier, in an interview with radio journalist “Uncle Sankara”, the State Counsel Robert B. Kowa Esq on 14th January 2020, had reiterated his Closing Arguments to the Judge; during which he had asserted that as far as the Government was concerned, the State showed the former President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma can be charged under Section 15 of Part 6 of the 2012 Anti Money Laundering Act.

That was 19 months ago and since then, the Commission Report had been accepted by the Government which issued a White Paper to the effect.

Ernest Bai Koroma swiftly filed an Appeal came up for hearing, Ernest Koroma instead filed that he wanted to be exonerated of Money Laundering and other serious criminal acts because he purports to enjoy immunity.

“There is a serious criminal conduct of Ernest Bai Koroma for which the Maada Bio Government holds the discretion as to whether to charge him and have him sentenced to a minimum of 7 years jail. Yes, I mean 7 years MINIMUM behind Bars,” said a legal commentator Mr. Bai Bangura.

“That means Koroma, after being sentenced as he approaches seventy years, will be only leaving Jail yard prison cell when he is in his late seventies and approaching to 80 years of Age. This is his biggest dilemma in the World today,” Bai Bangura asserted of the former President’s dilemma.

For Mr. Umaru Kamara, a university student, “That fear of a minimum of 7 years Jail is the reason behind the desperation of Ernest Bai Koroma to muzzle and damage the APC and by extension, damage the country’s Democratic Opposition. Ernest Bai Koroma does not want to go serve minimum 7 years Jail Term. So, he prefers for the APC to be destroyed to save his skin from going to Jail. Simple.”

For his part, Ernest Bai Koroma has always denied and express his innocence of all criminal conduct. He has said that though he is not an Angel but he is innocent of the accusations of criminal conduct and money laundering.

Meanwhile, Section 15(6)(a) of the ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND COMBATING OF FINANCING OF TERRORISM ACT, 2012 states that:

“A person convicted of a money laundering offence is liable in the case of an individual, including a director, employee or agent of a reporting entity to imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years”.

Section 1 describes the persons who can ensure prosecution for the criminal conduct will include “competent authority” like Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director of CISU, the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of the Anti Corruption Commission, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, the Director, any law enforcement agency and any person exercising such powers on behalf of these authorities as provided in the Money Laundering Act of 2012.