In a communique dated 20 January 2023, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) expressed gratitude to Sierra Leone for granting former President Ernest Bai Koroma permission to travel to Nigeria for medical treatment.
ECOWAS termed it a “humanitarian gesture” that serves the greater interests of Sierra Leone and the ECOWAS region.
ECOWAS reiterated its commitment to supporting Sierra Leone’s government and people in fostering peace, security, and deepening democracy and good governance.
Former President Koroma, facing charges related to an alleged attempted coup, departed Sierra Leone and arrived in Nigeria on Friday.
President Julius Maada Bio referred to the court’s decision as a “humanitarian gesture” during a national address on Thursday evening.
Upon his arrival in Abuja, Koroma was welcomed by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu and ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray.
The High Court of Sierra Leone authorized Koroma’s three-month medical treatment in Nigeria, with the condition that regular medical updates are provided by his sureties.
Under house arrest since December 9, Koroma faces charges, including treason, linked to the November events when armed attackers attempted a coup, resulting in casualties and prison breaks. Authorities regained control, arresting about 88 individuals, predominantly military personnel, connected to the clashes.