Leslie F. Cole-Showers, the Media and Public Relations Manager at the Sierra Leone Correctional Center, has refuted widespread social media rumors claiming the death of Amadu Koita, a retired Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) soldier and former bodyguard to ex-President Ernest Bai Koroma.

Koita, who is currently on trial for treason and other charges related to the November 26th attempted coup, remains in detention as the legal proceedings continue.

The rumors began circulating following a Facebook post by Abdul Jah, which alleged Koita’s death and quickly gained traction online.

In response, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) iVerify team conducted a fact-check to verify the claims. They confirmed that Koita is indeed alive. This was corroborated by court records showing that Koita appeared in court on Monday, May 20. The trial, originally set for that date, was adjourned to Wednesday, May 22.

Further validation came from Koita’s lawyer, who explained that the adjournment was due to the unavailability of a scheduled witness, leading to the hearing being rescheduled for Thursday, May 23, 2024.