20 Years Since the Death of Salami Coker
Salami Coker was born on 22nd November 1945. He was executed with Bambay Kamara, Yayah Kanu, and others on 29th December, 1992, in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
Salami's role as one of the early international actors was a great pride to Sierra Leoneans and Africans in the diaspora. He attended the East 15 Acting School, now affiliated with the British University of Essex.
"Several generations of brilliant young actors and actresses have come out of this conservatoire," said Mike Leigh, film and theater director. "The contribution of East 15 actors to the British theater, television, and film over the past decades has been immense."
Salami graduated with a diploma from East 15 and later became a member of RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art), one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom. Salami then started writing plays, directing and acting in various theaters across the U.K. He gained international recognition when he was selected to act in award-wining films such as Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) and Born Free (1974). Both films were box office successes and were distributed by Columbia Films. In addition to those two films, Salami did a lot of television commercials and acted in theaters.
Salami also promoted cultures of Sierra Leone. He was a member of the Ojeh Society, Hunting Society and other social organizations. Salami sponsored numerous community events. He wrote and directed plays for local theater and his professional and academic peers were the late Adewole John, and Amadu Pat Mahdi. Salami presented several programs on the radio and television in Freetown. He traveled to Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and the Gambia.
Salami was born to Alieu Badara Coker and Maimuna Ayoub. He attended the Cline Town Primary School in the East End of Freetown, the capital city; Cathedral Primary School and the CMS Grammar School. He was exceptional in sports--an athlete, boxer and above all a national champion in weightlifting. According to his mother, when Salami was a boy, he helped out by selling akara, sardines, sugar and butter to bring in extra income. He loved wearing French suits, traditional attire and his special color was cream. Salami was married to a midwife, Cynthia Coker. They had five children and seven grand children.
1n 1992, Salami Coker was working at the Ports Authority of Sierra Leone as an admin manager.
The Commission finds that the NPRC regime was responsible in December 1992 for the execution of 26 persons, including a former Inspector-General of Police and a former Brigade Commander for the Eastern Province, without due process of law and in flagrant violation of international standards. The NPRC’s attempt to justify these executions retrospectively by decree, on the basis that the 26 were alleged coup plotters was an unlawful abuse of executive power.
In particular, the Commission finds that the Deputy Chairman of the NPRC, Captain Solomon A.J. Musa, was personally responsible for acts of torture on detainees and those who were subsequently put to death.
Among those executed were the following:
Lt. Col James Yaya Kanu, former commanding officer of the 4th Battalion
James Bambay Kamara, former Inspector General of Police
Corporal Mohammed Mansaray, alias Candapa of the 1st Battalion
Warrant Officer Class 1 Kargbo, alias Fernando of the 1st Battalion headquarters
Lieutenant colonel (Rtd.) Kahota M.S. Dumbuya, Army Headquarters.
Major (Rtd.) M.C. Jalloh, former Paymaster
Captain Hanciles Bangura, Quartermaster, Benguema Training Centre
Mr. Chernor Jan Jalloh of Thunder Hill
Mr. S. Samba
Sieh Bangura, Deputy Superintendent of police (Second-in-charge, “D” Division, Kissy Police Station)
Sub Inspector D.T.S. Lebbie, Kissy Police Station
Mr. Salami Coker, 8 Huggin Street, Freetown
Mr. Victor Jarret, 37 Campbell Street, Wellington
Ms. Salamatu Kamara, 7 Huggin Street, Freetown
SLA/18168240 Private Bangura Mohammed. c/o RSLMF
Mr. Emmanuel E. Mani, 9 Jones Street, Kissy
Mr. Sorie Bangura, Bangura Street, Lumpa
Mr. Yapo Conteh, 17 City Road, Wellington
Sergeant 1315 conteh A.F., 57 Dundas Street, Freetown.
PC 6819 Bangura S. 3s George Brook, Kissy.
Sergeant 1107 Saffa J., Police Training School, Hastings
Corporal 407 Lavalie W., Police Training School, Hastings
Mr. Moses Davies, Police Training School.
Mr. Emmanuel Koroma,; Police Training School
Mr. Foday Turay, Police Training School
Mr. Sieh Turay, 92 Dundas Street, Freetown