Former president Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone is reported to be heading to Nigeria to receive medical care despite being due to stand for a trial for his alleged involvement in a coup attempt in November, last year.
Koroma, who had been under house arrest since the coup attempt, was given permission to leave by a High Court of Freetown on Wednesday for a maximum period of three months.
The ailing ex-president led the over 8 million Sierra Leoneans for 11 years until 2018, when current President Julius Maada Bio was elected.
While his treason trial is due to start in March, it is widely believed that a deal has been reached allowing him to go into exile.
BBC reported that a Nigerian presidential jet carrying the former president was seen leaving Freetown International Airport on Friday afternoon.
The medical travelling comes amid persistent speculation that the regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has brokered a deal with the Sierra Leone government to allow the 70-year-old relocate in order to ease tension following the November unrest.