Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara Has Not Congratulated President Julius Maada Bio on Winning the Just Concluded June 24 2023 Elections

By: Mabinty Kamara

Claim: A press statement circulated on Social Media claims that Dr. Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara has congratulated President Julius Maada Bio on winning the June 24th, 2023 elections

Verdict: False –the final results have not been announced by the Chief Electoral Commissioner to declare a winner.


We could not get the APC Publicity Secretary to speak to us at the time of the report.  However, to verify these claims, SLAJ/NDI super Newsroom fact checkers browsed the official social media handles of the APC executives including the presidential candidate Samura Mathew Wilson Kamara. The said press release could not be found anywhere on his Twitter account and other social media accounts.

Conclusion: The ECSL has since the announcement of the partial results not announced the final results. Hence, it is not likely for Samura to congratulate his main challenger when results were yet to be announced.

Note:  This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens to have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

U Don Chek Am? Na 4 Chek Am!



SLPP Has NOT Filed an Injunction to Stop NEW From Publishing Any Results

By: Christian Conteh

Claim: The SLPP has applied for an injunction to stop NEW and Marcella Samba Sesay from publishing the results in their possession.

Verdict: False, The SLPP has not filed an injunction to stop NEW from publishing any results.

Full text:

According to a claim, the SLPP has sought an injunction to prevent NEW and Marcella Samba Sesay from releasing the results they have obtained. The alleged injunction is supposedly related to Sesay’s statement on Radio 98.1 on Monday, June 26, 2023. In her statement, she mentioned their intention to publish the results, but with the condition that they await ECSL’s completion of their duties. She expressed hope that ECSL’s announcement would align with their findings.


To investigate this claim, the SuperNewsRoom reached out to Elkass Sannoh, the Head of Media and Communications at the Sierra Leone Judiciary. Sannoh confirmed that the judiciary has not received any such case. “We have not received any matter from any political party,” stated Sannoh.

Additionally, we contacted Umaru Napoleon Koroma, the Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party. He refuted the claims, dismissing them as lies. “Lies lies,” he replied.


Based on our investigation, neither the SLPP nor any other political party has filed an injunction to halt NEW from publishing any results they possess.


Note:  This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens to have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

U Don Chek Am? Na 4 Chek Am!


Press Release- Update on Media Coverage of the June 24th General Elections

                                                                                                                                        Sierra Leone Association of Journalists

                                                                                    1st Floor, 56 Campbell Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone P.M.B. 724,

                                                                                             Website: www.slajsl  Email:

                                                                              President: +232 76 470288 / +232 30 470288, Secretary-General: +232 76 814217



Press Release

Date: Monday, 26th June 2023

Update on Media Coverage of the June 24th General Elections


The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) commends all media houses and journalists deployed to cover the June 24 general elections across the country for doing so professionally and impartially.

Professional Conduct

The conduct of journalists and media houses on polling day and so far, according to our monitoring of the Western Area Urban and Rural, and reports from our regional offices, is encouraging. The Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG) Media Situation Room Report also highlighted and commended the performance of the legacy media on polling day.

However, we have received complaint from the leadership of the Independent Radio Network (IRN) about a broadcast by Justice Radio FM accusing the platform of holding secret meetings with the main Opposition presidential candidate, Dr. Samura Kamara to ensure that the platform announces results from polling stations that are favourable to the candidate and his party. The radio station further called on the Sierra Leone Police to stop the platform from announcing provincial results from polling stations and urged the public to stop listening to the platform.

Safety and Security

There are no reported incidents of threats or attacks/assaults against journalists or media houses on polling day across the country.

However, a group of journalists (including foreign journalists) were trapped at the All People’s Congress headquarters at Old Railway Line, Brookfields, Freetown, yesterday (Sunday 25th June 2023) evening while covering the party’s press conference during which the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) fired tear gas to disperse the crowd of supporters that had gathered in and around the building.

After receiving distress calls from the journalists and their media houses, SLAJ contacted the SLP and requested their intervention to get our colleagues out of the building. The SLP Regional Commander, Freetown West, Sylvester Koroma, ensured the journalists were escorted out of the building unhurt. Nevertheless, we received a complaint from one of the journalists, Ibrahim

Alusine Kamara, Managing Editor, Salone Compass newspaper, alleging that his vehicle, which he used to drive to the APC office for the press conference, was vandalized by security officials.

Social Media

Social media continues to be a concern for the spread of disinformation, fake news, hate speech and political propaganda, especially during the elections. We condemn the rampant spread of dis/misinformation of elections results from sources that do not have the authority to do so, and we reiterate that only the Elections Commission of Sierra Leone has that constitutional authority.


Meanwhile, SLAJ recognises the efforts by the IRN platform of radio stations, radio stations outside the IRN platform, TV stations, and newspapers in covering the elections in a professional and impartial way amid difficult circumstances.

We also recognize the great work by our team of Fact-checkers working on the UNDP I-Verify platform and the NDI SuperNewsRoom for timely fact-checking of problematic content around the elections and helping the public to have access to accurate and factual information.

We urge journalists to continue to perform their roles responsibly, professionally and impartially.



Alhaji Manika Kamara                                                

Secretary General






False Claim of APC Chairman’s Shooting in Kailahun

By: Mustapha Sheriff

Claim: The APC Chairman in Kailahun has been shot and killed.

Verdict: False, as confirmed by the APC District Chairman of Kailahun District.

Full Text:

A Facebook page, Makoni Times-Sierra Leone, posted on their wall that the Chairman of APC in Kailahun had been shot and killed. This claim has also been widely shared on WhatsApp.


To investigate the claim, the SuperNewsRoom contacted Ensah Jajua, the Chairman of the APC in Kailahun District.

Ensah Jajua stated that he was not aware of such a claim. He confirmed that he is alive, whilst mentioning that the Chairlady of the APC had been assaulted by unknown individuals in Koindu.

“No, I have not been shot dead and as we speak, I am in Freetown. However, I can confirm that the Chairlady of the APC and other supporters were severely beaten in Koindu, Kailahun District,” he confirmed.

Conclusion: There is no evidence to support the claim that the APC Chairman of Kailahun district was shot dead. The Chairman himself has denied the claim. Therefore, the claim is false.


Note:  This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens to have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

U Don Chek Am? Na 4 Chek Am!

Allegation of Ballot Stuffing at New London Community in Makeni is False

By: Abdulai Sillah

Claim: Ballot stuffing at New London Community in Makeni

Verdict: False, evidence from the ECSL district office contradicts the claim.

Full Text

On the polling day of Saturday, June 24, 2023, a video started circulating on various WhatsApp groups. The video depicted two men who had allegedly been assaulted by members of the public on the grounds of attempting ballot stuffing. It was claimed that one of the men, Hassan Khalil, had been caught with four boxes of ballot papers and that he was sent by the District Elections Manager of ECSL Bombali, Claude Samura, to commit the act.

The video showed an ID card belonging to Claude Samura with the designation of District Elections Manager. The men, along with the ballot papers, were subsequently handed over to the police for further investigation.


To investigate this claim, the SuperNewsRoom reached out to the regional office of the ECSL and spoke with Claude Samura, the District Elections Manager who was alleged to have dispatched Hassan Khalil with the ballot papers. Samura explained,

“Hassan Khalil is our office assistant and I had sent him to the filling station for fuel. As per our standard procedure, I usually provide him with my official ID card to authenticate the request at the filling station. However, I forgot to collect the ID card from him upon his return. Soon after, my Assistant District Manager asked him to urgently transport four sealed boxes of ballot papers to a location in Makeni that had been inadvertently left behind. It was during this task that he encountered the individuals who assaulted him, confiscated the materials, and handed them over to the police.”

The District Elections Manager further clarified that he had provided a statement to the police, providing an account of the incident. He emphasized,

“When we speak of ballot stuffing, it implies the use of already cast ballot papers. However, these seized ballot papers were brand new and sealed, so it cannot be considered as ballot stuffing.”

John Shanghai, the former district chairman of Bombali district, who reported the incident to the police, was also contacted for his perspective. Shanghai stated,

“Our APC party supporters at RC Kolo Kolo Primary School Center with centre code number 4149 in New London community informed me about a man caught with ballot stuffing at the polling centre. The crowd became agitated and beat up both him and the centre manager. I intervened promptly, halted the assault, and handed over the individuals, along with the ballot papers and the staff ID cards bearing Claude Samura’s name, to the Sierra Leone police for investigation.”

The SuperNewsRoom also reached out to the Deputy Regional Crime Officer and the regional Media officer of the Sierra Leone police, who confirmed that they were investigating the allegations. They had taken preliminary statements from the involved individuals, including the District Elections Manager, Claude Samura. However, they stated that the investigation was still ongoing and they would provide further updates upon its conclusion.

Conclusion: Currently, there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that the four ballot papers seized from Hassan Khalil, the ECSL district office assistant in Makeni, were intended for ballot stuffing. Until the police investigation concludes and presents their findings, the claim remains false.


Note:  This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens to have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

U Don Chek Am? Na 4 Chek Am!



Matron Mahawa Dumbuya’s Son Confirms Mother’s Death at APC Party Office

By: Mabinty Kamara

Claim: Rumors circulating on various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and blogs, claim that a woman was killed last Sunday at the All Peoples Congress (APC) Party office in Freetown.

Verdict: True – A woman identified as Matron Mahawa Dumbuya was indeed found dead at the  APC party office on Sunday night.


To verify these claims, the fact-checkers at SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom reached out to the family of the deceased matron, the police, the APC Publicity Secretary, and residents in the vicinity of the party office.

Sidi Tunis, a spokesperson for the APC, confirmed that the woman died from a gunshot wound at the party office. However, the Police media team could not be reached for verification. The Inspector General of Police, Willaim Fayia Sellu, denied allegations of live rounds being fired when speaking to the BBC.

Ibrahim Conteh, the son of the deceased nurse, provided additional information to the SuperNewsRoom. He stated that his mother was a retired matron who had served for thirty years and was part of the medical team of the APC party. He explained that his mother had gone to the party office that evening and they later received the news that she had been shot. After searching several hospitals, they discovered that her body was still at the party office.

Conteh recounted, “With a team of police officers from the central police station where I made a statement and mortuary attendants whom we picked up at the Connaught hospital, the personnel that we met at the office who had denied us access allowed us. They opened the office where we met my mother drowned in a pool of blood.”

Residents living near the party office confirmed hearing the sound of a gunshot.

Conclusion: A woman identified as Matron Mahawa Dumbuya died at the APC party office on Sunday. However, at the time of this report, the cause of death could not be confirmed as the pathologists were yet to release their report.


Note:  This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens to have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

U Don Chek Am? Na 4 Chek Am!




Viral Election Results is From 2018 and not 2023 Elections

By: Mohamed Jaward Nyallay


Claim: Viral picture of results going around on social media, claiming to be 2023 results.


Verdict: False, the results are from the 2018 Run Off elections, between Samura Kamara and Julius Maada Bio.


Full Text

A day after the general elections in Sierra Leone, social media has been very active. A picture going viral on social media showing tallied results from different districts. Those forwarding the picture which shows the tally of results have done so claiming it the 2023 results.


A twitter user even went forward to congratulate the All Peoples Congress Presidential candidate, Dr Samura Kamara on winning.




To verify this photo and the claim, the SuperNewsRoom checked ECSL’s website and it shows that all the results are from 2018.




The Viral election results shared on social media is from 2018 and not the 2023 elections


Screenshot from ECSL website 


Wayback Machine also shows that the 2018 electoral commission results are an exact copy of what is being shared currently.


Conclusion: FALSE, the viral photo is not the 2023 election result, it is the 2018 runoff results





Concord Times Tweet Suggesting ECSL Staff Allowed People to Vote Without Accreditation is Misleading

By Julian Koroma


Claim: Concord Times Tweeted ECSL staff allowing people to vote without accreditation.


Verdict: Misleading– ECSL staff allowed only people whose names were on the ECSL voter register to vote even without showing accreditation.


Full Text

A tweet from Concord Times’ Twitter page claims that on the 24th of July during voting hours the ECSL officials at New England Ville (PC16194) were allowing people to vote without accreditation.

During the many voter education campaigns of ECSL, the literature had been that individuals without tangible voter ID cards would be allowed to vote if the said person’s name given can be located in the ECSL voters register.

Additionally, the person has to answer two security questions which are “What are your mother and Father’s full names” if such security questions are answered correctly and the face of said individual matches the one on the ECSL voters register then that person would be allowed to vote without any tangible voter ID.


A call to ECSL’s Director of Media and Communication, George Jones confirms that the above procedure was followed by ECSL officials at New England (the area where the claim was identified) and many other centres operated as such.


The SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom found the tweet of Concord Times to be misleading.


NOTE: This fact-checked story is a product of the SLAJ/NDI SuperNewsRoom on Combating Disinformation in Sierra Leone’s 2023 electoral cycle. The project is supported by Global Affairs Canada to enable citizens to have access to credible and accurate information during the elections.

The SuperNewsRoom is powered by Africell SL.

U Don Chek Am? Na 4 Chek Am!

Safety and Security Guidelines for Journalists Covering the June 24 Elections

Covering elections as a journalist can be a challenging and potentially risky endeavour. Here are some key safety tips for journalists covering the June 24 Elections in Sierra Leone.


Plan Ahead:

As part of your planning, try to fully understand the Independent Media Commission (IMC) rules and regulations for print and electronic media, and the regulations on elections coverage. Also be conversant with the SLAJ Code of Ethics.

In addition, gather information about the elections process, political climate, and any potential risks or tensions in the area where you will be reporting.


Establish contact with the Police

The Sierra Leone Police is charged with the responsibility of providing security for the elections. In the last three years, SLAJ has made significant efforts to improve the relationship between the Police and the media through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to support one another in performing our roles in our democracy in a professional manner and efficiently and effectively.


So when you go to the polling centers and stations your first point of call is the security personnel. Introduce yourself and request their support and cooperation. Once you have established that understanding with the security personnel, proceed to introduce yourself to the other elections officials presiding over the centres and polling booths and conduct yourself in a responsible manner.




Maintain Neutrality:

As a journalist, strive to remain unbiased and objective in your reporting. Avoid taking sides or openly supporting any particular political party or candidate. This can help reduce the likelihood of being targeted by hostile supporters.


Share Your Itinerary:

Inform your media house, colleagues, friends, or family members about your assignment and share your itinerary with them. Regularly update them on your whereabouts.


Maintain Situational Awareness:

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Stay updated on the news on the elections and keep an eye on any gatherings that may escalate into violence. Monitor social media and local sources for real-time information.


Secure Communication:

Use encrypted communication channels and secure email platforms to protect your communications and sources. Avoid discussing sensitive matters or sharing confidential information over insecure networks or public platforms.


Protect Reporting Equipment & Digital Assets:

Protect your cameras and digital recorders and safeguard your electronic devices and data. Use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication on your accounts. Regularly back up your data and consider using encryption tools to secure sensitive files.


Dress Appropriately:

Blend in with the local environment and avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself. Dress modestly and adapt your attire to the community you are covering.


We have received concerns from journalists and media houses about threats of attacks from political supporters. Some journalists have expressed fear of wearing their media jackets to cover the elections. If you face any threat because of your media identity, we advise that you conceal your identity and alert your colleagues covering other locations to do likewise.


Self-preservation is the first law of nature. Try as much as possible not to become the news in trying to get the news.


However, be professionally assertive in doing your job.


Maintain a Low Profile:

Avoid attracting unwanted attention. Minimize your public presence on social media and refrain from discussing your reporting plans in public spaces.


Personal Safety Measures:

Be cautious while traveling and avoid risky areas or confrontational situations. Trust your instincts and be prepared to change your plans if you sense potential danger.


Prioritize your safety and take necessary precautions to ensure a secure reporting experience.



Do NOT stay out till dark until it is very essential to do so.


If you have any issues please contact the following executive officials for prompt intervention:


Western Area Urban and Rural:

076 814217

030 470288

076 789752

Northern Region

076 516079

076 816768

088 232343

Southern Region

076 449051

076 505270

Eastern Region

076 926530

099 322776


-SLAJ Secretariat


Claim Suggesting Increase in Pump Price of Fuel is False

By Joseph Momoh Conteh

Claim: Increase in petroleum pump price starting Sunday 25th June, 2023.

Verdict: False

Full Text

A notice has been circulating on various social media platforms, claiming that there will be an increase in petroleum pump price starting from Sunday, 25th June 2023. The notice, which was widely shared on the 23rd of June 2023, reads:

“On Sunday, Fuel Pump Price is Nle 30… So vote wisely for a better Salone. Vote Dr. Samura Kamara.”

Screenshot of the Notice


To verify the claim, our team delved into the matter, leaving no stone unturned. We sought official statements and engaged with relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Ministry’s Response

According to a press release issued on Friday, 23rd June 2023, by Dr. Hinga Sandy, the Minister of Trade and Industry, the public was urged to dismiss the fake notice claiming an impending increase in petroleum pump prices. The Ministry categorically stated that there are no plans for such an increase, neither in the present nor the foreseeable future. The Minister further exposed the notice as a malicious creation by opposition party operatives seeking to discredit the government ahead of the elections.


Based on the Ministry’s official statement, we can confidently conclude that the claim of an impending fuel price increase is false. The notice circulating on social media is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and manipulate their perceptions.