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Brigadier General (Ret.) Julius Maada Bio (born on October 30, 1964 in Segbwema, Kailahun District) is a former Sierra Leonean Head of State. Bio is an ethnic Mende from a ruling (paramount chief) house in the East. He led a coup in Sierra Leone on January 16 1996, ousting the head of the NPRC junta Valentine Strasser following a division within the governing Sumpreme Council of State (SCS) over whether to seek peace with the RUF before multi-party elections, planned for March 1996, or go ahead with the election notwithstanding the ongoing war in the country, and the conditions for participation (or disqualification) of junta members in the elections. As a Captain in the Army, Bio was one of the junior officers who participated in the April 1992 coup that ousted the All Peoples Congress (APC) led One-party dictaorial government. His first appointment following the formation of the NPRC was as the Secretary of State South, stationed in the country's second capital Bo. He was later moved to Freetown to serve as Secretary of State in charge of Information and Broadcasting. As a leading member of the coup that kicked out the One-party Govenrment Bio served as SCS member throughout the NPRC's stay in power and when Strasser's deputy, captain S.A.J. Musa, was sacked and exiled to the UK Bio was appointed to the position and a few months later was promoted from captain to Brigadier-General, making him one of the two most senior military officers in the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF)(senior to Head of State captain Strasser and equal in rank to the Army Chief of Staff).
Although there were some who questioned Bio's motives, primarily because his sister, Agnes Deen Jalloh, was a member of the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF), civil society organisations rejected Bio's "peace before elections" campaign and forced his junta to proceed with elections and the restoration of constitutional order. A clear winner was determined after the second round of elections on March 15, 1996, and he handed power over to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah on March 29 1996. Bio's handover of power was however on the condition that upon his ascension to the presidency Tejan Kabbah would promulgate an NPRC Indemnity and Transition Degree, 1996 (http://www.sierra-leone.org/Laws/1996-NPRC6.pdf) which provides indemnity to the whole Army and all members of the NPRC and their appointtees for all actions, intentional or otherwise, including the very coup that brought them to power and all extrajudicial killings during their time in government. Bio retired from the RSLAF upon stepping down as head of state of the country. He was accused of looting the National Treasury and hurridly concluding the sales of a prominent government-owned hotel for millions of United States Dollars (paid partly in cash and in gem stones, and property in Ghana) to a shady foreign businessman and stashing the proceeds abroad in his (Bio's) name.
Bio now serves as the president of International Systems Science Corporation, a consulting and investment management firm and lives in Fairfax, Virginia in the United States.
Bio sought the leadership of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) at its national convention in Makeni on September 3–4, 2005; he took third place, with 33 votes, behind Vice President Solomon Berewa, who received 291 votes, and Charles Margai, who won 34 votes. In the Sierra Leonean press, Bio was quoted in 2007 as saying he would overthrow a new APC government if the APC won the 2007 election. According to Bio, this was taken out of context, and he said that if the "appalling" conditions that existed in 1992 were to return, he would seize power. Bio is currently (2010) back in Sierra Leone actively campaigning members of the opposition SLPP to support his bid to become that party's candidate to challenge the current president Ernest Bai Koroma of the ruling APC in the Presidential Elections scheduled for 2012.