Exactly nine (9) years after the government indicted former Special Security Service (SSS) now (Executive Protection Service), Director Benjamin Yeaten of murdering two prominent individuals, John W. Yormie, the then deputy minister for operation at the Ministry of National Security (NSA) and Isaac Vaye also deputy minister for Technical Service at the Public Works, it appears government has for all purposes abandoned prosecutorial action. There has hardly been any efforts since by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to bring Yeaten to justice.
Since 2009, Special jurors for Montserrado County, on January 9, 2009 at the Temple of Justice drew up the indictment against defendant Yeaten based on testimonies and documentary evidences of the deceased widows, Cynthia Howard Yormie and Suzana Vaye, who are in desperate need of justice for the alleged cold-blooded murder of their husbands.
However, staffers (name withheld) at Criminal Court ‘A’ where Yeaten is expected to defend himself against murder charges confided to the Daily Observer yesterday about prosecution’s abandonment of the case. “Look this case has been on the court’s docket since 2009 and there is no document pointing to the fact that government was interested in bringing Yeaten to justice,” one of the staffs told our reporter who had gone to inspect the court’s docket to ascertain whether the case was placed on its docket for the August Term of Court.
Another staff said, “Even the prosecution has not been able to issue an international arrest warrant or to either serve him with the court indictment. But, if there were a lawyer for Yeaten he would had relied on that to file a motion for dismissal of the matter; interestingly, there is no document before the court in that direction which could likely make the defendant a free man.”
The question remains whether President George Weah would behave like his predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to deprive Cynthia Howard Yormie and Suzana Vaye the justice they have sought for their husbands since nine (9) years ago. In their quest for justice, both Cynthia and Suzana claimed that in November 1997 and up to June 5 and 8 of 2003, defendant Yeaten maliciously and intentionally shot and ordered the shooting and execution of John W. Yormie, the then deputy minister for operation at the Ministry of National Security (NSA) and Isaac Vaye also deputy minister for Technical Service at the Public Works.
Both widows also claimed that defendant Yeaten authorized the murder of former Minister of Internal Affairs, Samuel Dokie and members of his family. Cynthia, in her testimony explained that on the night of June 5, 2003, defendant Yeaten sent for her husband with information that Yormie was needed by jailed former President Charles G. Taylor.
She claimed that her husband was taken from their residence along with Isaac Vaye, on that same night of June 5, in a light Blue Jeep marked 1249-BC and a SSS vehicle also with license plate SSS-18 and escorted by two armed men, Junior Nyantee and another person who she identified only as Banana, both of whom were Aides de Camp to Taylor.
She however claimed that on June 7, 2003, defendant Yeaten acknowledged to her and Mrs. Vaye, and in the presence of other female citizens of Nimba County that the two arrested men were in his custody and that he would release them the next day, June 8. From that time, Madam Yormie said, they have never seen their husbands alive, but have learnt that they were instead killed upon the orders of defendant Yeaten.
Cynthia also claimed that her husband was personally shot in the head by defendant Yeaten in the area she named as CNC at a cross-road between Bilpa and Bainlakpala, in Nimba County. His lifeless body was said to have been deposited in a well around the LPRC Oil Terminal Sub-Station, in Ganta, Nimba county.
Suzana, for her part, claimed that her husband was shot by Yeaten’s special forces who were part of his guard and over whom he had direct control. Suzana further claimed that her husband’s body was also dumped in the same well around the LPRC Oil Terminal Sub-Station, in Ganta, Nimba County.
“The deaths of our husbands were acknowledged by President Taylor himself who also sent his then Vice President the late Moses Blah, Harrison Narnway and Prince Myer to inform us about our husbands death,” the widows indicated in their testimony to the jurors.
At this point it remains unclear whether the matter has been declared a cold case given the length of time it has lingered on the court’s docket.