The Case of the Law Lady’s Death

first_imgShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Characters in the story:Estella Yongor—Former ‘law lady’ whose death was a mysteryWiliam Sombai—Accused of murdering the ‘law lady’Judge Samson Saywah—He wanted justice for allJason Doe—Criminal defense lawyer who believed his client was not guiltyProsecutor Santos Weah—The district attorney who was prepared to pull all the strings against the accusedDetective Robert Monger—Who found the gold wrist watchSamuel Boimah—The witness whose smooth composure was broken by a faint surprise and the red herring Jason Doe needed to crack the case.It was one of the unusual homicide cases in Monrovia in recent times. Criminal lawyer Jason Doe was defending William Sombai, accused of the murder of a female lawmaker. It became apparent that the district attorney was determined to pull all the strings to bind the defendant over for a jury trial.Though Jason Doe enjoyed such a trial, where he would stand before twelve common citizens assembled to give his client his day in court, the prosecution in this case did not have a fool proof argument, just circumstantial evidence with all its trappings of human mistakes.The circumstances surrounding the death of former lawmaker Estella Yongor raised questions about her associates. There were reports that she might have been killed after she received a gold wrist watch, declared missing after her body was discovered, providing an added twist to the tongues of Monrovians who were following the case with passion.Metropolitan newspapers made wild guesses on the cause of her death. In a sensational angle, one of the most respected newspapers carried an editorial with a touch of irony in the lighter side of life:“It would be the discovery of her missing gold watch that could offer prosecutors a chance to give her death some justice.The demise of the woman known among her colleagues as the ‘law lady’ has once again brought it painfully home that there is always a day of reckoning for what we do.Estella Yongor’s end did not come because she had served her people well; it came because of certain decisions, ambitious as they might have been, were not appreciated by the very same people she had been hobnobbing with for many years.Sadly, the woman known for frequenting places where even Angels would not dare to set foot, has provided Monrovians much to talk about.”An argument in a local club about her death was more intriguing as Monrovians could not afford to ignore what they considered as the juiciest part of the story.Estella Yongor, the controversial lawmaker’s life was full of mystery and contradiction. Consider the following, as reported during the week of her death:“I saw the lawmaker that night,” said Monrovia Scratch Card Seller, Sam Toe. “She had on a gold watch and she was a beauty,  that much I can tell you.”“A real beauty?” our reporter heard the question from an inquisitor, a young man who said he admired the lawmaker.Toe smiled, and said, “Yes, but there was this guy with her, and he was not that dashing in his looks, but there was something like a character in his looks.“Then after say twenty minutes, another man showed up.  He was a chubby type of guy and about twenty seven years old. His face was full of rage.“It was hard to know what was responsible but he demanded for a gold wrist watch which started an argument that ended up in a melee.”Our investigations revealed that the lawmaker had some inner friends and one of them could have sparked the fuse that led to her untimely death at thirty- five.But the question is: where is the gold wrist watch? The discovery could lead to the eventual resolution of this horrible crime.The unrestrained but incriminating reports on the case in the media demonstrated people’s anger and therefore many applauded when Judge Samson Saywah issued a gag order preventing further reporting till the preliminary trial was over.When her body was found, parts were missing, prosecuting witness, homicide investigative officer Detective Robert Monger testified during the pre-trial.“What else?” Prosecutor Santos Weah asked, directing his attention to Detective Monger.“William Sombai, the defendant, was caught with a briefcase that belonged to the decedent.”“When and where did you find William Sombai?”“It was two days after the murder and a witness at the club mentioned that he came along with the decedent.“We found him at his house in Duala, drunk. Evidently he was under the influence of narcotics and a test indicated it was marijuana.”“What did you do next?”“We took him into custody and requested assistance from the JFK Medical Center. After some help, it took him two more days before he was sober.”“Ok,” the prosecutor said,“What did you do next?”“Well, when he sobered up enough, he was able to explain his involvement and particularly how he got the briefcase belonging to the decedent.”“How did he get the briefcase?”“He said he found it behind the club, the Mayors Club, where the decedent and her friends had been that night of her murder.”“Did he reveal what happened to the lawmaker?”“Well,” the officer said, “initially he was not sure what was at stake till we informed him about the death of the lawmaker.”“What was his reaction?”“He broke down and wept but explained that he was not involved.”“He was not involved in what?”“In the lawmaker’s murder.”“And what else happened to him?”“He admitted that he was not himself that night and therefore he could not explain any circumstances that might have led to his involvement in the murder.”The prosecutor hesitated, and then said, “Did the defendant admit any knowledge of any of the persons that were with the lawmaker?”“Well, he admitted being there himself, I mean William Sombai…” but he was interrupted by the prosecutor, “When you said William Sombai, are you referring to William Sombai who is the defendant in this case and is in this courtroom?”“Yes,” the officer said, “and as I was saying defendant Sombai explained during our investigations that he had long known the decedent would end up that way.”“’What way did he mean?”“I think…”“Don’t think,” the prosecutor responded, “just answer the question as best as you know it from the defendant.”“In that case,” he answered, “he meant the way the lawmaker died.”The courtroom remained quiet as spectators focused their attention on the detective.On the defense table sat criminal lawyer Jason Doe, who watched the witness with a slight frown on his face.“Detective Monger,” the prosecutor pressed on, “you searched the defendant’s room?”“Yes.”“What did you find?”“A wrist watch, a gold wrist watch with the owner’s initial on it.”“Whose initials were they?”“The initials of the decedent.”“Do you have it with you?”“Yes.”The detective searched his pocket and withdrew a gold wrist watch with the initials of the late lawmaker on it.“What initials do you see on the wrist watch, Detective Monger?”“They are the letters E Y.”“Indicating Estella Yongor?”“Yes.”“What was the defendant’s response as to how he came to possess the gold wrist watch?”“Initially he was unable to explain how he came by the wrist watch till he realized the difficult position when his…”The prosecutor said, “Did his lawyer intervene?”“Yes and he further explained that the decedent had presented the watch to him as a gift.”“What happened next?”“When he was told that the owner of the wrist watch had been murdered, he said he would be blamed for her death.”“What did he do?”“For the next seven days, he kept weeping.”“What did he say, during that time?”“He would say ‘I know they would blame me, but I did not do it.”“And he admitted without being put under pressure that he was with the decedent but could not explain specifically his role during the period that the lawmaker reportedly died?”“Yes.”The prosecutor smiled and turning to Counselor Doe, said, “Your witness.”Jason Doe strolled leisurely towards the witness and staring Detective Monger in the face, said: “You saw the gold wrist watch with the defendant?”“Yes.”“And initials there indicated EY, which you testified to represent Estella Yongor?”“Yes.”“But you will agree that the letters, EY can represent many other names other than Estella Yongor?”“Yes.”“It could be Eternal Youth, or Esther Young?”“Yes.”The lawyer saw a slightly confused look in the witness’ face, and said, “You examined the briefcase found by the defendant?”“Yes,” he said, “and we found out several personal effects of the decedent in it.”“Was there anything to suggest that someone had tampered with the briefcase?”“Yes.”“And the lawmaker, with all due respect to her memory, was known to have certain relations with certain characters in her community?”“Yes,” he said, “but evidently she was having a good time.”“During your investigations, Detective Monger, the defendant was cooperative?”The witness nodded and said quietly, “Of course.”A flickering light overshadowed the room, as the lawyer paced back and forth, hammering out questions with a professional touch. The spectators waited patiently, expecting the lawyer to spring one of his unusual questions to get the witness to create doubts about his answers. And the lawyer did not disappoint them when he charged:“The decedent was involved in many projects and there was one, Detective Monger, that indicated that she, on a number of occasions, argued with a man who had threatened her?”“Police found out that that threat was not anything serious,” the witness answered, his dark and piercing eyes staring into the lawyer’s gaze.“Who made the threat against the lawmaker?”Searching his memory, the detective said, “It was one Samuel Boimah, who had in the past made some attempts to blackmail the lawmaker.”“Let me refer you to the briefcase which the police collected from the defendant,” Jason Doe said. “Among the fingerprints was that of Samuel Boimah.”“Yes.”“Mr. Boimah was indebted to the lawmaker in the amount of U$5,000?”“That’s correct.”“And since Samuel Boimah was unable or did not want to repay the debt, did it not stand to reason that the pressure from the lawmaker compelled Boimah to engineer the lawmaker’s demise to free himself from the debt burden?”“Well,” the witness’s smooth composure was broken by a faint surprise as he fumbled his response, “we… considered that angle.”Nodding slowly, the lawyer said: “And what was your answer from that angle?”The lawyer’s question seemed to freeze the witness into inaction.The embarrassing situation was saved when, Judge Saywah said, “The court finds this case very interesting and stipulates with the benefit of the defendant that there is the angle of Samuel Boimah that the police will need to investigate and therefore the court hereby orders the defendant released from custody.“This case has all the trappings of mystery in connection with how an individual who was expected to give society some direction, however, took her liberty for a chance. Nonetheless, while our society thrives on individual freedom, the court finds it appalling that someone would elevate himself to an executor of evil against another for a debt that he legally owed and as a wanted to avoid his responsibility.” With that the judge replaced his glasses on his nose, swept his head across the courtroom, held his gaze temporarily on Jason Doe’s face, then on the district attorney’s face and emitted a wry smile with a nod.Jason Doe responded with a frown, drew a handkerchief from inside his left coat pocket, wiped his face, and like a cue, the judge bolted through the back door, as spectators strolled towards the door.Looking at his client, Jason Doe smiled and indicated with his head that all was fine and it was time to leave, which his client responded to with a grin.The Endlast_img read more

Donegal libraries running free festive family events

first_imgDonegal Library Service want to get you in the mood this holiday season by running ‘Family time at your Library’ events in all thirteen libraries in December.‘Family Time at your Library’ is part of the national Right to Read campaign which supports a family-focused approach to children’s reading, with the aim of promoting reading as a fun recreational activity for children.Donegal Library Service hope to increase awareness, among parents and families, in services and resources for children in public libraries. Donna Cavanagh, Senior Executive Librarian said the Library Service is delighted to be holding free and fun events for children and parents to enjoy together.“The libraries are open to all and we are always working to improve the service we offer to everyone. Your library card holds so much potential and we are confident you will have an enjoyable time at your local Family Time at your Library event,” she said.So, to anticipate the joy of snuggling down with a really good book over the Christmas holidays, why don’t you come along to one of the free events? The events include:‘Christmas Family Storytime’ in the Winter decorated Junior Library section in Central Library.‘Christmas Stories and Songs’ with Emma Porter from Vivid Performance school of drama in Buncrana Library.‘Pyjama Party and Storytelling’ with Mrs Claus in Carndonagh Library. ‘Design your own Christmas Decorations’ in Twin Towns Library where you can also enjoy the crafts table and some festive treats. Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair will also have a ‘Cóisir Phitseámaí le Scéalaíocht ‘An Treain Pholach’ le Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh.For more information on events please visit or contact your local library to book a place.Check out their Facebook and Twitter page @ Donegal County Library, where you can keep an eye out for more great events!Events:Letterkenny MDDate and TimeEventCentralTel: 074 9124950Thur 5th Dec at 6.30 pmChristmas Family Storytime in our Winter decorated Junior Library sectionMilfordTel: 074 9124950Wed 11th December at 6.30pmA Magical Christmas Family Story Time eventCentralTel: 074 9124950Thur 12th Dec at 6.00 pmMagical Christmas Family Reading Time eventStranorlar MDDate and TimeEventTwin TownsTel:  074 9175384Tue 3rd Decemberat 6.30 pmMrs Claus Storytelling; Make your own decorations at our crafts table; Be the first to pick from our Children’s Christmas Collection; and enjoy some festive treats.RaphoeTel:  074 9144115Thur 5th Dec from 3pm to 5pmEarly Bird Christmas Books – Be the first to pick from our Children’s Christmas Collection. We will have a junior Christmas craft session and festive treatsLiffordTel:  074 9172726Fri 6th Dec from 3pm to 5pmEarly Bird Christmas Books – Be the first to pick from our Children’s Christmas Collection. We will have a junior Christmas craft session and festive treats  Donegal MDDate and TimeEventDonegal TownTel 074 9725329Tue 10th Dec at 11.00 amChristmas StorytimeBallyshannonTel 071 9858824Wed 11th Dec at 11.00 amChristmas StorytimeBundoranTel:  071 9829665Wed 18th Dec at 6.30 pmPyjama Party   Inishowen MDDate and TimeEventBuncranaTel:  074 9361941Wed 11th Dec at 6.00 pmPyjama Party and Christmas stories and songs with Emma Porter from Vivid Performance school of dramaMovilleTel:  074 9385110Wed 11th Dec at 6.30 pmPyjama Party and Storytelling with Mrs Claus  CarndonaghTel:  074 9373701Thur 12th Dec at 6.30 pmPyjama Party and Storytelling with Mrs ClausGlenties MDDate and TimeEvent Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth DobhairTel:  074 9560862Dé Céadaoin 4ú Nollaig ag 6.00 i.nCóisir Phitseámaí le Scéalaíocht ‘An Treain Pholach’ le Mairead Ní Mhaonaigh agus Ceardaíocht Marla le Jumping Clay.Leabharlann Phobail Na RosannTel: 074 9522500Dé Sathairn 14 Nollaig ag 11.30 rnScéalaíocht agus Ceardaíocht na Nollag le Breege Ward  Donegal libraries running free festive family events was last modified: December 2nd, 2019 by Dionne MeehanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:booksCHristmasdonegaleventsfamilyInishowenletterkennylibraryStranorlarlast_img read more

R8.3m boost for sustainable agriculture

first_img19 November 2012 Nedbank has invested R8.3-million in conservation group WWF South Africa’s Sustainable Agriculture Programme, which aims to tackle food security challenges as well as protect natural resources in the country. “A recent United Nations report titled ‘Food and Agriculture: The future of sustainability’ stresses the urgent need for the world’s farmers to be empowered to produce more food per unit of land, water and agrochemicals, while confronting widespread physical resource scarcity, a changing climate, and rapidly increasing input costs,” WWF-SA’s senior manager for sustainable agriculture, Inge Kotze, said at the launch in Cape Town last week. “These challenges overlaid with the degradation of our natural eco-systems and biodiversity make modern day agriculture more precarious than ever.”Collective and collaborative partnerships Collective and collaborative partnerships have an important role to play in enabling sustainable agriculture which contributes to the reduction of environmental and natural resource impacts, said Nedbank Agriculture’s John Hudson. “No single individual or organisation has the capacity to deliver the level of change required to make a real and lasting contribution to the sustainability of our country’s agriculture,’ he said. “[This] is why this partnership with WWF-SA is designed to unlock the full power of collective, public-private partnerships, collaborative investment, and support and recognition for those that demonstrate commitment and innovation in meeting the agricultural challenges facing South Africa and the world in the 21st century.” Only 13% of the South African landscape is suitable for arable or permanent cropland, and two-thirds of the country’s surface freshwater resources are currently utilised for irrigated agriculture, according to WWF-SA.Supporting a vibrant agricultural sector “There is an urgent need to redefine and refocus our vision in terms of the future of food and the role of agriculture in reaching that future,” Kotze said. “This is why the Sustainable Agriculture Programme is aimed at enabling better production, rather than merely focusing on increased output alone. “By promoting and supporting a vibrant and profitable agricultural sector in this way, we can all help to address potential food security challenges, while at the same time protecting the country’s/the planet’s natural resources, and unique biodiversity,” she said. Hudson said Nedbank aimed to promote and reward agricultural best practice and innovation. “By 2050, conservative estimates are that there will be around 9-billion people living on Earth. “If our country is going to overcome the significant environmental, social and economic challenges involved in feeding our population at this time, it is the responsibility of every one of us to start thinking and acting more sustainably right now,” he said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Energy and Building Programs Brace for Trump Budget

first_imgA long list of federal programs that promote advanced building techniques, renewable energy, and energy efficiency would see less money under President Trump’s budget proposal, but important details on how the budget would affect a number of popular projects are still unknown.In general terms, the budget proposal seeks to increase defense spending by $54 billion in the 2018 budget year, which begins on October 1. To balance those spending hikes, a number of other programs would see deep budget cuts, including the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Published reports peg DOE cutbacks at $3 billion, a 25% reduction in the $12 billion in discretionary spending that the department now has.Among the programs that DOE now pays for are the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and its Building Technologies Office; the SunShot Initiative, which seeks to lower the cost of solar energy; and two design competitions for college and university students. The federal Weatherization Assistance Program, a 40-year-old program that helps low-income families make energy-related improvements to their homes, also would be phased out. It’s still early in the processTrump has left little doubt about the direction his administration will take on renewable energy, energy efficiency standards, and climate policy.He is siding with conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation, which has lambasted the climate and energy policies of the Obama administration and argues that government shouldn’t subsidize emerging technologies. “Does America really need a Department of Energy?” Heritage Foundation economic analyst Nicholas Loris opined in an article published last year. EPA chief Scott Pruitt doesn’t think that carbon dioxide’s impact on climate has been proved. The president has signed an executive order aimed at rolling back the Obama Clean Power Plan, and he has repeatedly promised to revive the coal industry.But budget specifics are a long way from being nailed down, and no one realistically expects the proposal to make it through Congress unscathed. Also, while the president and Congress control the budget, electric utilities across the country see a cleaner, less centralized power future for the U.S., no matter what happens to the Clean Power Plan. A survey conducted by Utility Dive among 600 utility professionals earlier this year found that most believe solar and wind will play a bigger role in the utility power mix in the next decade. Eighty-two percent of those polled said that utility-scale solar would increase moderately or significantly, while 83% said that distributed generation would increase moderately or significantly. In contrast, only 2% thought that the use of coal would increase moderately, only 2% thought it would increase significantly, and 18% thought it would stay about the same. Fifty-two percent thought that coal use would decrease significantly.Even staunch Republicans are pressing ahead with clean-energy plans, regardless of what the Trump administration is doing. In Carmel, Indiana, for example, Republican Mayor Jim Brainard is pushing hybrid and biofuel vehicles, LED streetlights, bike paths, and tree plantings to absorb carbon dioxide and create shade, The Washington Post reports.“For a long time, taking care of our environment was a nonpartisan issue,” Brainard told the newspaper. “I have yet to meet a Republican or Democrat who wants to drink dirty water or breathe dirty air.” Green Building in the Trump EraIs Weatherization Cost-Effective?Should the DOE Increase Furnace Efficiency Standards?A Web-Based Information Resource from the DOENew Rules for Ceiling FansAccounting for Renewable Electricity SavingsNew Energy-Saving Standards from Barack Obama Paving the Way for an Efficient Light Bulb in Every Socket Solar Decathlon: The Search for the Best Carbon Neutral HouseMinnesota Students Win ‘Race to Zero’ Title A huge cut at EEREEERE programs of interest to builders look especially threatened, according to a report on Greenwire. In a story published earlier this month, the website quoted sources that predicted a reduction of 30% to 70% for an agency with a hand in many energy-efficiency efforts. The office is responsible for the SunShot program, for example, and provides about 80% of the budget for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a major research institution for clean energy.For an idea of what EERE does in the residential building arena, visit an interactive map that the agency posts at its website. Grants range from the tiny $25,000 commitment to help train real estate appraisers on the value of green building attributes to more sizable investments in improving indoor air quality for high-performance homes. Grants go to such programs and agencies as the Building America Program, the Institute for Market Transformation, the University of Central Florida, the Southface Energy Institute, and many others.Another concern is the potential impact on building codes, according to the report. Daniel Bresette, the director of government relations at the Alliance to Save Energy, told Greenwire that one victim could be DOE’s building code program, which works closely with the International Code Council to develop energy and building codes. DOE provides crucial technical assistance that ultimately helps homeowners save money, turning relatively small government investments into big energy savings for consumers.“Without funding, DOE’s ability to do all the great work it’s done historically goes away,” Bresette told Greenwire.Research that helps develop efficiency standards for appliances and lighting also could become more difficult as money becomes harder to find.The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association said that DOE funding has helped it train more than 4,500 co-op board members in designing and financing solar programs, Greenwire said in an earlier article. Co-ops are on track to install 480 megawatts of solar this year, more than double the total of 2015. That, too, could be a thing of the past.center_img Separately, deep cuts in the budget for the EPA’s budget would wipe out federal support for the Energy Star program, which promotes energy efficiency for a variety of products, including appliances, light bulbs, doors, and windows.The general outline of the spending plan is on the table, but unanswered questions — do the programs designed to advance energy-efficient building live, die, or exist in some diminished form? — remain. As a manager in one building program said, “We don’t know yet.”However, officials said that both the Solar Decathlon and the Race to Zero competitions for college students are moving ahead as planned this year. Beyond that, the future of both programs isn’t known. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

World Cup: Lloyd, Hussain back India

first_imgLegendary West Indian captain Clive Lloyd on Friday said the current Indian ODI squad is well equipped to win the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. “India is very good side. Their batting is strong. Also they are currently No 1 Test side in the world,” Lloyd, who led West Indies to the Cup glory in its 1975 and ’79 editions, told Headlines Today, as former greats such as Kapil Dev, Arjun Ranatunga, Sourav Ganguly and Md Azaharuddin sat to review the Cup preparations of different teams, along with cricket analyst Charu Sharma and former cricketer Nikhil Chopra. Former England captain Nasser Hussain, while favouring India and Sri Lanka, also echoed the views of Lloyd, who cautioned against complacency on the fielding front, saying a good fielding side that stops the run flow wins games in an ODI. “Obviously India are a very good side. They have superstar names,” Hussain said, adding, no one should write off the Aussies, despite the Ashes loss.  While former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail believed his national team was better prepared compared to 1992, when Imran Khan made his country the world champions, Kapil Dev said it’s an open WC. “Everyone is on an equal footing,” said Sourav Ganguly.last_img read more

Jennifer Lopez at Brazil 2014 opener: Will she? Won’t she?

first_imgFIFA announced on June 9 that the ‘On The Floor’ hitmaker would no longer be taking to the stage to sing the official song, ‘We Are One,’ with Pitbull and Claudia Leitte at the soccer tournament’s opening ceremony in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Thursday (12.06.14), but she has since had a change of heart because she doesn’t want to disappoint people.A spokesperson for the 44-year-old singer told June 10: “Jennifer has always wanted to participate in the World Cup opening ceremonies. We have been trying to work out scheduling and logistics. Any statements to the contrary were premature. Jennifer would not want to disappoint her fans or fans of football. She will be there.”Lopez has assured her fans she will perform at the opening ceremony of the World Cup in BrazilFIFA previously said Jennifer, who recently split from her long-term boyfriend Casper Smart, wouldn’t be performing because of unspecified “production issues.”Last week, Jennifer said she was “thrilled” at the prospect of performing at the opening ceremony.She said: “This is an amazing celebration of global unity, competition and sport.”last_img read more