Four senior officials of the Anglican Diocese of Bo in Sierra Leone have been sentenced to three years imprisonment after having been convicted of stealing over 2 Billion Leones (approximately $275,000) in donations gathered by Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) and the United Society (USPG) to support of victims of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The trial continues for the Bishop of Bo, the Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Tucker, who remains free on bail after posting a 500 million Leones bond.
An estimated 11,000 people died over 21 months beginning in 2014 from the virus in West Africa, leading to travel bans from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone from a number of Western nations, and a collapse in the local economy.
In February 2016 Bishop Tucker was lauded by the USPG’s Mike Brookes, who told a fringe meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod the bishop had helped combat the virus through health and sanitation education, and dispelling fears the virus was a curse.