Christopher Okoro Cole

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Christopher Elnathan Okoro Cole OBE (1921 – after 1990) was a Governor-general and President of Sierra Leone for a few days in 1971.

In the 1965 Birthday Honours, Cole was appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for "public services as Minister without Portfolio".[1]

In a complicated process of constitutional change when the monarchy was abandoned in early 1971, it was provided that Siaka Stevens, then Prime Minister, would become the "second president", while Cole, who had been appointed interim governor-general on 31 March, would serve for two days as "first president". Thereafter he reverted to his earlier post of Chief Justice of Sierra Leone. Justice Christopher Okoro Elnathan Cole was also Sierra Leone's first United Nations Permanent Representative to New York. He was also a member of the Lancaster delegation that signed the independence document from Great Britain.


Christopher Okoro Elnathan Eustace Cole, C.M.G. LLB.

  • Born on April 17, 1921 at Waterloo, Sierra Leone.
  • Educated at Seventh Day Adventist School Waterloo, Buxton Memorial School, Freetown, C.M. S.G.S., London School of Economics, London University.
  • Graduated LLB.
  • In 1946 called to the Bar at The Middle Temple.
  • 1946-1951: Back in Sierra Leone set up private practice.
  • 1947-1951: Part time lecturer in law. Department of Economic Studies, F.B.C..
  • 1953: City Solicitor.; Police Supreme Courts 1952. Commissioner of Oaths. Crown Counsel.
  • 1956: Promoted Solicitor General.
  • Acted as Attorney General on a number of occasions.
  • Ex-officio Member of Executive and Legislative Council.
  • Represented Sierra Leone at "The Future of Law in Africa" Conference in London under Chairmanship of Lord Denning.
  • 1960: Appointed Judge of the Supreme Court.
  • 1962: Justice of Appeal, Gambia Court of Appeal. Acted as Chief Justice of the Gambia.
  • In 1963 represented Sierra Leone at the "World Peace through Law Conference" in Athens.
  • In 1965 represented Sierra Leone at the "Commonwealth and Empire Law Conference" held in Australia.
  • In 1963 acted as C.J. of Sierra Leone on a number'of occasions.
  • In 1963 awarded the O.B.E..
  • In 1967 appointed Ambassador to U.S.A. and Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York City.
  • In 1968 headed Sierra Leone's Delegation to Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Law of Treaties held in Vienna.
  • 1957-1968:hancellor, Diocese of Sierra Leone.
  • 1960-1961: Chairman, Cole Commission to inquire into accounts of Sierra Leone.
  • 1969: Chairman, Judicial Service Commission, Chairman, Rules of Court Committee, Vice Chairman for Africa of t.e. World Association of Judges.
  • January 1969, and September/October 1969: Officer Administering Government of Sierra Leone.
  • June 1970: awarded C.M.G..
  • 1970: Appointed Chief Justice of Sierra Leone.
  • October 1970 and March 1971: Acting Governor General.
  • April 19, 1971 First President of Republic of Sierra Leone
  • Retired from Public Service in 1978.
  • Married with four children[2]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43670. p. 5517. 4 June 1965. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
  2. ^ Mallyveen Roy-Johnson, Who's who in Sierra Leone, Lyns Publicity, 1980, Sierra Leone - 56p. p. 6
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Banja Tejan-Sie
Governor-General of Sierra Leone
Succeeded by
Himself as President
Political offices
Preceded by
Himself as Governor-General
President of Sierra Leone
Succeeded by
Siaka Stevens