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True! Police harboured alleged coup plotter

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Claim:  Viral social media posts have claimed that a police officer harboured Amadu Koita, an alleged member of the Nov. 26 coup attempt.

True! Police harboured alleged coup plotter

Verdict: True. At the weekly government press briefing, the Minister of Information confirmed that Alimatu Hassanatu Bangura, a sergeant in the Sierra Leone Police Force, harboured Amadu Koita.

Full Text

The chaotic Nov. 26 coup attempt in Sierra Leone has left the country on the edge with suspects still at large. According to some top security hierarchies, missing guns and other ammunition are yet to be fully accounted for. In the wake of the chaos, the government has made some arrests. 

On Monday, Dec. 4, there were viral social media claims that an alleged mastermind of the Nov. 26 attack, Amadu Koita, had been arrested on the outskirts of the capital. Opinions were varied with some people claiming that he could not have been in the country to be part of the Nov. 26 attacks. The virality of the rumours and diverse opinions made DUBAWA to fact-check it. 

Amadu Koita’s picture and identity were revealed by the government last week as one of the 29 failed coup plotters. By Dec. 5, his picture had been published by different people and blogs that he was hiding at the residence of a senior police officer. 

True! Police harboured alleged coup plotter
Amadu Koita in police custody Credit: We Blog

Shortly after his arrest, popular opposition politician Sylvia Blyden posted on Facebook that Alimatu Bangura was the officer who hid Koita in her home. 

Police spokesperson Brima Kamara said an administrative and criminal investigation will be launched to examine Sgt Bangura’s conduct. 

True! Police harboured alleged coup plotter
Screenshot of Blyden’s message on her Facebook wall

A blogger known as D Chiller claimed on December 5th that this was all part of a conspiracy by the government, citing how illogical it could be for a serving Police officer to shelter Koita. 

Pro-opposition online news platform Cocorioko also doubts whether the person arrested was Koita.

Verification 

DUBAWA contacted the Police, but they did not respond. However, given that the government was set to update the public on the ongoing investigation, DUBAWA attended the government press briefing

During the press briefing, the Minister of Information, Chernor Bah, confirmed that Koita was arrested Monday evening.

“Amadu Koita was arrested yesterday and is helping with police investigation. He was apprehended around 11:30 pm yesterday in a neighbourhood called Tree Planting,” Bah confirmed.

“Koita was arrested in the home of a Police officer, a Sergeant. Her name is Alimatu Hassana Bangura, and she was with the Interpol Division at the CID,” Mr Bah added.

Sgt Bangura was not the only one arrested. One more police officer was arrested at the same house attached to the New England Police Division. 

Conclusion

Claims that a police officer harboured Koita are valid. The Minister of Information Chernor Bah confirmed it.

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