Lawyers to Former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma have 21 days to present a new medical report on his health status, a court ruled in Freetown on Wednesday. 

This ruling follows the former president’s failure to appear in court despite being granted bail on medical grounds.

Koroma who is currently facing a four-count charge including treason, was permitted to travel to Nigeria in January to address his health issues. This decision was based on a bail application filed by his legal team, led by Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara, citing medical grounds.

During the court session on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, at Magistrate Court No. 2 on Pademba Road in Freetown, PPrincipal State Prosecutor Ahmed Bockarie highlighted Koroma’s absence, as per the court’s previous order. Bockarie urged the magistrate to inquire about the reasons for Koroma’s non-appearance.

In response, defense lawyer Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara referred to an affidavit filed with the court, signed by sureties Mr. Minkailu Mansaray and Mr. Osman Foday Yansaneh. He emphasized paragraphs four and six, particularly the latter, of the affidavit.

Bockarie contested the content of the affidavit, insisting that the sureties should inform the court about Koroma’s whereabouts.

Responding to Magistrate Bangura’s query about Koroma’s condition, Minkailu Mansaray acknowledged Koroma’s departure to Nigeria for medical attention. Mansaray explained that they were awaiting detailed information on Koroma’s current medical condition and requested the court’s patience.

While Bockarie urged the defense and sureties to commit to a specific date for Koroma’s court appearance, lawyer Kamara objected, asserting that such calls were the magistrate’s responsibility, not the prosecution’s.

Magistrate Bangura sided with Kamara and ordered the defense and sureties to submit the former president’s medical report within a three-week period, scheduling the next court hearing for March 27, 2024, to continue the trial.