In response to Dr. James Sanpha Koroma’s resignation as Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, the Secretary to the President, Julius Fofana Sandi, has issued a response expressing disappointment and questioning the timing of the resignation.

It would be recalled that Koroma resigned following the recent appointment of a new chancellor, PC Dr. Margrette Darboh.

A copy of Dr. Koroma’s resignation letter addressed to the Secretary of the Office of the President expresses his regret: “It is with deep regret that I write to formally submit to you my resignation as Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone.”

Dr. Koroma cited unsuccessful attempts to secure a personal meeting with the President as a reason for his resignation. He also accused the Supervising Ministry of interference.

“This letter is coming because of my failed attempts at having a personal audience with you.

“I kindly request that you convey my grateful thanks and appreciation to His Excellency the President for my appointment as Chancellor to head the affairs of my alma mater; the chaotic end of which is due largely to the gross interference by the supervising Ministry.” He wrote.

Acknowledging receipt of Dr. Koroma’s letter dated 14th March 2024, Sandi deemed its content redundant, noting that it had already garnered public attention before reaching him. He emphasized a regular communication pattern between himself and Dr. Koroma, citing recent exchanges in late February regarding a planned private dinner.

Sandi pointed out that Dr. Koroma’s resignation came after the installation of a new Chancellor on 13th March 2024, rendering the resignation letter dated 14th March ineffective. He refrained from commenting on the timing of the resignation but highlighted its implications for commitment to the university’s objectives, invoking Section 7(2) (d) of the Universities Act, 2021.

Expressing concern over the availability of the University of Sierra Leone’s official letterhead to Dr. Koroma post-installation of the new Chancellor, Sandi suggested potential intent behind the timing.

Sandi concluded by informing that a goodwill message had been conveyed to the President prior to receiving Dr. Koroma’s resignation letter, indicating that President Bio had been advised accordingly.

The letter reads in full: “You know, as much as I do, that we (Koroma/Sandy) communicate on a fairly regular basis a minimum of once every week. The last recorded SMS messages between us (Koroma/Sandy) were on 25th, 27th and 28th February 2024, in addition to a telephone conversation in the morning of 28th February 2024, about a planned (regular) private dinner. No further comments on your “failed attempts at having a personal audience with” me.

“Your “Resignation Letter” was written one day after a new Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone had been installed on 13th March 2024. Effectively, your engagement as Chancellor terminated on the 13th of March or a period before the 13th of March 2024, making your “Resignation Letter” dated 14th March 2024 redundant and, therefore, invalid.

“Out of due deference, I will not comment on the timing of your “Resignation Letter”, vis-à-vis commitment to your previous engagement as Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone. Suffice it to state, however, that it clearly manifests the level of commitment and, not keeping abreast with developments, in furtherance of the objects of the University. Section 7(2) (d) of the Universities Act, 2021, is relevant. Undoubtedly, these invited the attention and intervention of the superintending Ministry.”

Finally, I note with concern that the official ‘letter head’ of the University of Sierra Leone was available to you one day after the new chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone was installed. I can only conjecture that this was done on purpose, and not out of inadvertence.” He commented.

He revealed that, his Goodwill message has been conveyed to the President adding that, prior to the receipt of his resignation letter President Bio has been accordingly advised.